Johannesburg - Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga on Monday expressed her sadness at the senseless killing of two schoolgirls in the North West province.
The two teenage girls were found hanged at the school’s dormitory premises by a matron at the school in Stella on Saturday.
A 19-year-old man, reportedly the ex-boyfriend of one of the girls, has been arrested in connection with the incident.
“It is deeply concerning that our young girls are dying in this manner. This is truly a tragedy and shows as a society we need to work with our young boys in order to better equip them to effectively deal with relationship dynamics. We have seen far too many of our young women killed at the hands of their boyfriends, or ex-boyfriends. It is shocking and deeply disturbing,” said Motshekga.
Motshekga said she was pleased that police have already made an arrest in this matter and is hopeful that justice will be served in this matter.
“We need to send out a strong message that the lives of our women and girls matter, we are not disposable and justice needs to deal harshly with anyone who takes the life of a woman or a girl in such a senseless manner, as in this case where the bright future of these two young girls has been prematurely stolen from them," said Motshekga.
Motshekga has asked for a full report from the province into the circumstances leading up to the incident and how the boy allegedly gained access to the dormitory.
“We need to see all stakeholders playing a role in ensuring that the integrated strategy for school safety is implemented to protect our learners against perpetrators of violence as we have seen in this particular case and indeed others like it,” she said.
The education department in the province would follow up on the matter to put measures in place to ensure that similar occurrences don’t happen in the future.
Meanwhile, the department of community safety and transport management in the province said the incident was condemned in the strongest possible terms.
"Please, rather speak out, do not be hapless or hope things will just be all right. No. Consult teachers, counsellors and alert your next of kin. As for boys and young men, resorting to violence and physical action is not the solution."
"Regrettably, this double murder takes place on the eve of the South African Police Service, (SAPS), 'child protection week'. This is a campaign jointly conducted by SAPS, social development and other stakeholders to intensify children safety awareness efforts as a way to be felt and yield the desired outcome," said the MEC Dr Mokgantshang Motlhabane.
Motlhabane said names of the girls and suspects will not be revealed in line with the Child Protection Act. The communities and social media were also requested to also desist from stating their identities, distributing images and or messages about them.
African News Agency/ANA