A police officer will reportedly be assigned to each public school across Gauteng and schools can call on the officer when a problem arises.
The Sowetan reported that the plan was revealed by the province’s MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi.
Lesufi was quoted as saying that a police officer would be allocated to each school in the province and that the officer would be able to assist the school in an event the school is in need of assistance from law enforcement.
The MEC said the provincial department of education was also working with mobile operators to ensure that when one presses number nine on their cellphones and holds it for more than 30 seconds, a call would be directed to the nearest police station to alert the police officer which would have been identified to deal with that particular problem.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, however, told the publication that the police could not perform the duties of security guards.
Dlamini was quoted as saying that police could not be assigned to stay at schools and that the department should employ security guards.
The spokesperson of the national department of education, Elijah Mhlanga, said most violent incidents occur outside of school premises and that the acts of violence were not random, with the issue being the criminality in society.
“The solutions are not with the department, but with the people themselves, the police, the justice system and all other stakeholders. The streets around the schools are battlegrounds,” Mhlanga was quoted as saying.
This comes after a 19-year-old learner from Forest High School in Turffontein, Johannesburg, was recently granted R5,000 bail after he was arrested for allegedly stabbing and killing a fellow student and wounding two others.
It was reported that in a separate incident, a grade 10 learner from a school based in Boksburg, Johannesburg, was attacked by four learners who were reportedly accusing him of being a “cheeseboy”. Due to the attack, the grade 10 pupil subsequently missed his mid-year examinations.
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)