Panyaza Lesufi.
Panyaza Lesufi.

Lesufi vows to bring order to schools despite 13 pupils facing charges

By Siphumelele Khumalo Time of article published Jun 12, 2019

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Johannesburg - While at least 13 pupils from Gauteng are currently facing criminal prosecutions, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has vowed to bring order in schools.

Speaking on Tuesday at the memorial service of Daniel Bakwela, 16, who was murdered outside his school allegedly by a fellow pupil last week, Lesufi said that his passing would not be in vain.

He said Daniel’s death was a call to tackle the sexual abuse, drugs, crime and gangsterism at Forest High and neighbouring schools.

He said there were 13 pupils with pending legal matters in the province and added that the court and education system needed to work hand-in-hand.

“Learners with court matters need to declare these to the department for it to take the necessary steps,” added Lesufi.

Hundreds of pupils from Forest High gathered in the school’s hall on Tuesday to pay their respects to Daniel. Family and friends of the deceased also attended.

Lesufi took the opportunity to address pupils on ill-discipline at schools.

“Here we are again bowing our heads in shame. We are not here to discuss academics but to persuade learners to understand death instead of celebrating goodness.

"No child is born ill-disciplined. An eye-for-an eye makes everyone blind."

Lesufi urged pupils not to avenge the death but instead support Daniel’s family in this difficult time.

“No revenge means no revenge. It should be a battle of constructive ideas and not of weapons. People should sympathise with the perpetrator, and his family must extend friendship to the affected family,” Lesufi said.

He added his department wanted to deploy undercover police officers at the school and that all liquor shops in close proximity would be closed if they sold alcohol to learners.

He said the school transport system would also be vetted to avoid drivers playing loud music and selling illegal items to learners outside the school.

“Each school knows the bullies, so they must be pointed out so that experts and professionals can be unleashed to assist them before they become killers.

"We need to protect our girl children against teachers dating them against their will. We are putting strong measures in place and over-aged learners who want to do as they wish must know their time is up,” he said.

Lesufi said all these issues would be unpacked at a meeting on Friday.

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