Primrose Primary School principal shot to avoid meeting with parents

Gauteng Education Mec Matome Chiloane visited Primrose Primary School in Germiston after the principal shot and injured by a learner on Friday Picture: GDE Media

Gauteng Education Mec Matome Chiloane visited Primrose Primary School in Germiston after the principal shot and injured by a learner on Friday Picture: GDE Media

Published Feb 20, 2024


The principal of Primrose Primary School in Germiston was shot by a Grade 6 student, aged 13, who aimed to prevent the school from contacting his parents and evading disciplinary consequences.

Education authorities disclosed that the student had premeditated the shooting with the intention of targeting three educators at the school.

The harrowing plan was revealed by Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane yesterday following a visit to the school with officials from the Ekurhuleni north district, to meet with the school management and School Governing Body.

Chiloane said the learners and the educators at the school were left shocked and still shaken in the aftermath of the shooting incident, especially after as additional details emerged following the apprehension of the child.

According to the Education MEC, the scheme to shoot the educators was orchestrated through a WhatsApp messaging group, with the class teacher, principal, and deputy principal identified as the intended targets.

Although the shooting might have caught educators and parents at the school off guard, Chiloane revealed that, based on interviews with some of the learners' friends, the planning for the shooting had been in progress for quite a while.

“The people that were targeted were the class teacher, the deputy principal and the principal, as according to the child these were three people giving him problems at school as they are notifying the parents.”

The MEC said on Friday, in particular, the parent had been summoned to the school for a discussion regarding the learner's subpar academic performance. The meeting also aimed to inquire about the child's homework book, which had remained unsigned for five consecutive weeks.

Meetings had been held with the parents of the child earlier on regarding their conduct, however, Chiloane explained that the child had informed authorities during interviews that he was scared to inform the parents as a result of the punishment that would be meted out to him.

The MEC said although they did not know the form of punishment given to the learner, they were however concerned that this could point to ‘some signs of abuse’.

The learner’s father, who was in police custody yesterday, was expected to also appear before the court for child negligence.

“As to the fate of the child, the law says when a child is under 14-years of age, the decision lies with the magistrate as to whether they are to go to juvenile detention centre or what.

“From our side it’s going to be a process until the child gets reintroduced back into the system as they would have to undergo a lot of rehabilitation work first,” the MEC stressed.

Chiloane said although they were content that from the school’s side the educators had done their part, it was evident that there was ‘minimal support’ coming from the parents.

“He (the learner accused of shooting the principal) did something that no one has ever done in our schools.

“You must respect your teachers, all the time.

“You must respect your school principal all the time.

“You must listen to them because your teachers are your parents in school,” said the MEC.

“If you respect your father and mother at home, then you must respect the deputy principal Moremi at school.

“He is your parent. Once you don’t respect your teachers, it means you do not respect at home. Then you know there is a problem with you.”

The MEC assured the learners and teachers that they would be safe inside the school premises.

The principal, identified only as Mr Selepe, was yesterday still recovering in hospital.

“He will survive, through the mercy of God.

“He has survived.

“As to when he is coming back to the school, it is something we cannot determine now. He needs to take his time, he needs to get better, he needs to be strong,” he said.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the learner appeared before court yesterday and they were subsequently released into the care of their guardian.

The spokesperson said the matter would return to court on March 19. | Additional reporting by Jonisayi Maromo

The Star

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