File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

PORT ELIZABETH - The national police commissioner has condemned in the strongest possible terms the attack on police and youth desk members at Freedom Park Secondary School in Eldorado Park on Thursday. 

Police were conducting a school search as part of the School Based Crime Prevention when pupils attacked them stones.

Three of the pupils, aged 15, have been detained for public violence while a 20-year-old pupil was arrested for possession of dagga and a dangerous weapon (knife).

In an exercise intended to promote safe and orderly school environments, the Eldorado police accompanied by their youth desk members arrived at the school as arranged with the school’s principal the previous day, to search for drugs and dangerous weapons. 

"The SAPS has a partnership in place with the Department of Basic Education to prevent, manage and respond to incidents of crime and violence in schools," police commissioner General Khehla Sitole, said.

The police said in the statement that while they were conducting the search, looking mainly for drugs and dangerous weapons, some pupils allegedly started throwing stones at them. Two police officers were injured in the incident. The police also said that gunshots were fired.

Sitole said these acts were a "total disregard of the law" he warned that such actions would not be tolerated. 

He has wished the members that have been injured a speedy recovery and has also praised the bravery displayed by the members of the SAPS Eldorado Youth Desk.

"The well-functioning of Youth Desks at policing precincts are fortifying the participation of the youth in the fight against crime which is in line with the SAPS’s Youth Crime Prevention Strategy," the statement said, adding that the strategy aimed to "take the youth out of reach of criminals". 

“The police will continue to enforce the prevention and early intervention to support schools in consistently delivering teaching and learning in an environment that is physically and socially safe," Sitole said. 

The three pupils detained for public violence will be released in the care of their parents until their appearance in court soon while the pupil arrested for possession of dagga and a dangerous weapon will be in custody until his appearance in court. 

African News Agency (ANA)