Prevent schools from becoming death traps

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    Cabinet on Thursday condemned the reported increasing incidents of bullying, robberies and violence in some of the country’s schools, calling on joint efforts to address this.

    Since the start of the year, several incidents on school premises among pupils and between teachers and pupils have been reported and trended on social media.

    One disturbing incident involved five school learners between the ages of 15 and 16 from Flora Park in Polokwane, Limpopo who allegedly attacked and killed Thoriso Themane at the weekend.

    An unknown number of young people allegedly assaulted the 28-year-old man who was taken to hospital for medical treatment but he later succumbed to his injuries.

    Another shocking murder was of Madan Motlhamme (13) who was allegedly stabbed in the stomach by his fellow classmate on Tuesday at Mateane Primary School in North West.

    Last week, two people were arrested after two people were killed in an attempted hijacking at Edenvale School in Johannesburg – which left school learners traumatised.

    In the Eastern Cape, a 16-year-old pupil at the Mpheko Primary School in Peddie was allegedly stabbed to death by a fellow pupil during an argument while playing on the school grounds – earlier this year.

    In January, four pupils were suspended at Hoerskool President in Ridgeway after a video showing schoolboys fighting during break time went viral. General Smuts High School in Vereeniging has a similar incident.

    Last year, two Lenasia Secondary School pupils were suspended after a video of one of them assaulting a teacher went viral on social media.

    “Our children need safe environments of learning and we call on learners, educators, parents and guardians to work together to protect our children socially, physically and emotionally,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

    Cabinet also made a special appeal to school governing bodies to assess the existing infrastructure of their schools to ensure that school buildings are safe, regularly maintained and conducive to learning.

    Last month, four learners were killed and 23 sustained serious injuries after a bridge, which connected two buildings, collapsed and trapped several learners at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark.

    Fake social media accounts

    Meanwhile, Cabinet has warned members of the public not to be misled and drawn in by fake social media accounts which claim to be that of ministers and deputy ministers.

    Some of the fake accounts promise business opportunities and requests people to pay money to be part of these business opportunities.

    “No member of the executive solicits payments for any official transactions via social media,” Cabinet said, while distancing themselves from the comments, views and photographs purported by these fake accounts

    In cases of doubt, the public should contact the various ministries or departments at www.gov.za.

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