Richard's Bay - The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday called for "urgent arrests and disciplinary action on all those involved in turning a school into a war zone" in Richards Bay.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal was appalled by the recent reports of barbaric and inhumane incidents of violence at a well-known school in Richards Bay, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said.

"A horrifying video, currently circulating, depicting an unidentified group of learners engaging in serious acts of violence and viciously attacking each other on school premises has sent shock waves and raised concerns to parents about the safety of their kids.

"What is even more disturbing is that the learners are seen in possession of knives and other dangerous weapons while other learners, mainly female, [are] screaming and scurrying for cover," Ntuli said.

"The ANC calls for urgent arrests and disciplinary action on all those involved in turning a school into a war zone. This incident, if not responded to with the concomitant punishment it deserves, will have a negative lifelong emotional and psychological impact on learners who are victims of this scary incident."

The ANC called on those who witnessed the incident to come forward and provide evidence that would lead to the successful prosecution of the perpetrators of this shameful act. To the ANC, schools should be centers of learning and teaching, not the sites of violence, gangsterism, and criminality. 

The ANC called on education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane to act decisively on this matter and ensure that acts of bullying and violent conduct were nipped in the bud at all schools. Education was a number one priority in the country and no parent should fear sending their children to school because they may be harmed.

The education department should also work hand in hand with relevant stakeholders such as the South African Police Service (SAPS) to prevent acts of criminality at school surroundings and the public in general.

"The ANC is of the view that parents and communities in general should also play their role and take active interest on the day to day running of the schools.  We call upon all stakeholders to unite and stand against any form of school-based violence," Ntuli said.
African News Agency