Police Minister Bheki Cele in Mitchell's Plain. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA).
Police Minister Bheki Cele in Mitchell's Plain. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA).

Cele says no plans to deploy police to schools despite attacks

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Aug 15, 2019

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Parliament - Police Minister Bheki Cele has shot down any suggestion of SAPS sending police to quell violence and killings at schools.

Cele made the statement in a written response to a parliamentary question from IFP's Zandile Majozi, who asked if there were any plans to deploy police to schools to provide necessary assistance to pupils and teachers in the wake of violence at schools.

In his written response, Cele said the SAPS do not have loans to deploy static police at schools.

"However, the SAPS does have safety officers who are linked to schools," he said.

Cele added the police often attended to incidents reported at schools and conducted operations base on information received about schools.

"As part of daily functions of SAPS, the front line members conduct daily patrols at schools."

The minister also said the SAPS, in collaboration with Basic Education Department, identified problematic schools for the implementation of schools safety programme.

"The SAPS also conduct maintenance programmes at schools where the schools safety programme was previously implemented," he said.

His comment comes hot on the heels of the killing of a teacher at a Folweni school south of Durban in June.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has also her department would not establish school violence task team to combat violence in schools.

"All schools have established school safety committees in line with the national school safety framework. Each committee is comprised of internal representatives from the school governing body, school management the, educators and learners,"Motshekga said in response to IFP's Lindinkosi Ngcobo.

She also said other role players in the school safety teams were others departments such as SAPS, health, social development, municipalities and non-governmental organisations, including faith-based organisations.

Motshekga added that her department has also entered into partnership with the National Education Collaboration Trust  to coordinate a wide spectrum of stakeholders through the national school safety steering committee.

In July Motshekga said in a written response to a parliamentary question that the National School Safety Framework provided the Basic Education Department with an organising framework to coordinate all efforts in response to school related violence. 

"This framework provides evidence-informed approaches based on accurate and comprehensive data of the effectiveness of existing programmes."

She said the department has provided a manual on how to address violence at school level to all schools.

"The provincial education departments continue to provide training and support to schools, particularly those schools in high crime areas, to effectively respond to school violence and bullying," Motshekga said.

"These hot spots schools have also been linked to local police stations through a national partnership with the SAPS. The manual encourages all schools to establish school safety committees and provides evidence informed strategies to address bullying, homophobia, xenophobia and gangsterism."

Political Bureau

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