Sadtu has called on the government to beef up security after the fatal stabbing of a pupil at Forest High in Turffontein this week. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The country's biggest teacher union has called on government to beef up security after the fatal stabbing of a pupil at Forest High in Turffontein this week. 

The SA Democratic Teachers Union said it was also calling on communities to take ownership of their schools and protect it from unscrupulous criminal elements which could harm pupils, teachers and workers. 

This follows the cold-blooded killing of Daniel Bakwela, 18, who was attacked outside his Forest High School in Turffontein on Monday in what was believed to have been a gang-related incident. Two other pupils, aged 15 and 18, are recovering in hospital.

Sadtu spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said they were calling for the installation of metal detectors and proper fencing at schools. 

“We are calling up for government to need up security measures at our schools. We are also saying the issue of violence cannot be solved by government alone. These children come from our communities, they get weapons from our communities. We need to all come together and find a solution,  but we must ensure schools have proper fencing and the proper gadgets to detect weapons,” she said.

Cembi said the issue of violence at schools was a reflection of “what is happening in the larger society”. 

“We need the community to play a role in finding solutions, parents must make sure that when their children leave to go to school, they are interested in school,” she said.

Cembi said no pupil or teacher deserved to learn or teach in a violent environment. 

“Like the children are not safe, the workers and the teachers are not safe. No teacher, no learner, no education personnel, should feel unsafe at school,” she said. 

Cembi said the union would launch a campaign called ‘I am a school fan’ campaign, which would call on communities to guard their schools emphatically from criminal behaviour. 

“We are saying to all stakeholders in education, parents and community, that  you do all that is possible to defend your favorite soccer club, you support them through thick and thin, we want all stakeholders - especially the community - to become fans and defend their schools,” she said. 

A 20-year-old pupil was arrested for allegedly stabbing his schoolmate to death on Monday. He is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Wednesday

Saturday Star