Johannesburg - Parliament’s basic education portfolio committee on Friday condemned the shooting incidents that resulted in the death of two pupils and a general assistant in Gauteng in the first week of re-opening of school.
Committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said in a statement she noted reports that a 16-year-old pupil from Daveyton was shot dead by a classmate during an argument on Wednesday.
According to media reports, the Gauteng Education Department confirmed that the grade 10 pupils from Lesiba Secondary School were arguing outside the school premises during school hours.
It was also reported that during the argument one pupil fatally shot the other in the head, before fatally turning the gun on himself.
In a separate incident, a 49-year-old general assistant from Kwa-Phalo Primary School in Soweto was allegedly shot on the school premises on Thursday morning. Mbinqo-Gigaba said the incidents were a tragic start to the school year.
“Learners should not be able to access firearms, let alone use it to destroy themselves. My condolences go to the families and friends of both learners.
"I appeal to learners to refrain from acts of violence, and to find better ways instead to deal with conflict,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.
She called on the law enforcement authorities to ensure that the Soweto incident, where a general assistant was shot at school, was dealt with effectively and speedily.
“I appeal to education authorities to provide the necessary psycho-social support to the school communities.
“Violence has no place in our schools; in fact, our schools are deemed safe spaces for all,” Mbinqo-Gigaba said.