Participation in gang-related activities at Songozwi Secondary School at Madodonga in the Kutama area is increasing, causing fear among educators and learners of the school.
Many pupils at the school are also said to belong secretly to notorious gangs.
Last Thursday, a pupil was stabbed in what is said to be a gang-related attack. The police have arrested three suspects and charged them with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The three appeared in the Tshilwavhusiku Magistrate’s Court last Friday. Two of them, Hulisani Liphaswa (27) and Rudzani Ramovha (22), were released on bail of R800 each, while the third suspect, Tshimangadzo Makhuvhila (22), was denied bail. The three will appear again in court today (Friday).
The police confirmed that the incident happened outside the school premises.
Pupils allegedly identify gangs as the leading cause of violence in their schools. They added that bullying was the most common form of violence, while drug abuse was also increasing in the area.
One of the educators, who wanted to remain anonymous, said whenever he asked pupils why they were late for school, they simply walked off and went to sit in a nearby graveyard. “We try our best to instil discipline among them, but these pupils go astray every day.” He added that communities should play a decisive role in curbing violence at schools. “School violence disturbs school programmes and the goals and aspirations of the school end up not being achieved.”
Chief Tanganedzani Kutama said the parents and the community as key role players of the school dealt with the challenge of discipline. Kutama raised concerns over the growing problems related to gangsterism in schools.
He added that gangsterism was having a severely negative impact on the education system. “It must be reiterated that violence and drugs cannot be tolerated at schools at all. Schools must use the tools they have at their disposal to address this matter,” he added.
“The children disrespect the educators and some, like, they said they are bringing dangerous weapons to the school,” added a pupil, who wants to remain anonymous.
Date:15 March 2019 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.