The parents blamed a gang known as The Rushians, which they said was notorious for recruiting pupils and youngsters from the area, including Phuthaditshaba Primary School, where the Grade 6 pupil was shot. They said the gang was also behind rapes, robbery and intimidation.
A mother said: “There’s a group called The Rushians that recruits children from this school. My son is in Grade 7. He came home one day, saying a fellow pupil had threatened him with a knife after school.”
Yesterday, parents shut down the school for a second consecutive day, accusing the school of withholding information regarding the incident. Pupils who had attempted to attend classes had to leave at about 11am.
Allegations of pupils selling drugs at the school also emerged from the parents who camped at the gate.
Chaotic scenes broke out as defiant parents demanded to be addressed by Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Classes remained suspended and there was a heavy police presence at the school.
“My child is in the same class with the boy who was shot, but when I asked what she saw she told me nothing. It can’t be that every child who was in that class did not see anything.”
Details of the shooting remain sketchy, but the Pretoria News was told that the victim had stood up to borrow a pen from a classmate before falling down, screaming in agony.
When his teacher rushed to check on him, she found that he had a gaping wound in his shoulder.
The parents threatened to shut down the school again todayand on Monday.
“We are not going anywhere until Lesufi comes here. Our children are not safe at all and we can’t continue like this,” said another parent.
SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Lungelo Dlamini said a case of attempted murder was being investigated.
He also could not link the so-called gang to any crimes in the area.
“For now we can’t say or not if the shooting is gang-related because no one has been arrested yet.
"Unless someone has evidence that can lead to the arrest, we can’t give any comment about gangsterism at the school,” he told the Pretoria News.