The IFP in the KZN Legislature calls upon gun owners to make their homes and communities safer by storing their guns securely, in order to prevent gun violence in schools.
This comes after a Grade 10 pupil is alleged to have been shot by another pupil at Phambili Secondary School in Sea View, Durban, on Wednesday afternoon.
Irresponsible gun owners must take responsibility when their weapons are used by their children. Gun owners must ensure that their guns in their homes are locked away and unloaded, with the ammunition stored securely in a separate location. Parents must be held accountable for the safety of their firearms, as well as their children.
Further, questions must be asked: how did a learner at Phambili Secondary School manage to enter the school premises in possession of a gun? Where did the learner get the gun? This incident again raises serious questions about the lack of safety at schools. We have raised our concerns about this issue many times in the past but our calls have fallen on deaf ears. The MEC of Education, Kwazi Mshengu, must take at least part of the blame, as he has failed to increase security in our schools.
Learners need to be safe in their schools. Educators need to be safe in their schools. Parents and families trust schools to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, right now, they are not safe. The KZN Department of Education must stop violence in our schools. It must prioritise the safety of teachers and learners. Schools must not be turned into battlefields; they are places of learning.
The IFP reiterates its call for metal detectors, CCTV cameras and security personnel to be available at all schools, to ensure the safety of students, staff and school personnel, as well as to deter students and visitors from bringing weapons to schools. The question of costs for these security measures may be raised, however, one cannot put a price on the lives and the safety of students and staff.
Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-mthethwa, MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Education
071 884 3844 / 079 114 3015