KWAZULU-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu has publicly lashed school governing bodies and parents for failing to play their role in addressing the violence that has gripped schools in the province.
Mchunu was delivering the opening remarks at the provincial Lekgotla held in Durban yesterday.
His remarks follow violent clashes at schools, with students bringing knives and guns to places of learning.
A Durban pupil recently appeared in court after a video of him viciously assaulting a female pupil was circulated on social media.
Another video emerged of pupils at a school in the Richards Bay area assaulting each other with what looked like pangas and knives.
There was violence at George Campbell Technical School in Durban last week after allegations of racism emerged.
"I must express outright condemnation of shocking scenes of gangster fights and sporadic accusations of racism we are witnessing in our schools. It is absolutely inconceivable that we have learners going to school, armed to the teeth with knives and guns and then to start faction or gang related fights at school," said Mchunu.
"We must ask ourselves, what is happening to our society and families? Surely parents should know what their children are up to? We are in serious trouble if we are willing to accept that parents abdicate their parental duties," he said.
Mchunu said the school governing bodies should also play their role.
"I am also concerned about the role our School Governing Bodies are performing in this process. Surely they are more than just a call centre from where the Department of Education can be called to come and attend to these matters. School Governing Bodies are representatives of the parents of that school and they do have a direct obligation to act themselves and to be leaders in society," said Mchunu.
He said he was grateful to the MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwane, for intervening and getting personally involved to attend to these issues.