Schools in a war zone

BY 

On 

June 1, 2017
Schools in a war zone

WAR ZONE: Four Lavender Hill schools were shut down for one week due to waging gang violence. CREDIT: Tracey Adams

Nearly 4 000 children from a Cape Flats suburb missed an entire week of school due to gang violence.

Lavender Hill has become a war zone with skollies waging gun battles in the streets.

Worried teachers and principals were forced to escort laaities home, until gatvol parents and teachers decided to shut down the schools last Tuesday in an effort to force authorities to provide security for their

children.

Learners from Lavender Hill High, Hillwood Primary, Levana Primary and Prince George Primary schools stayed home until yesterday morning.

Mother of four, Nazley Samuels, 33, said her nerves were klaar.

Ek hettie gewiet hoe ek dit hettie. I went to fetch my children at Hillwood last Monday and the bullets were just coming. I could not find my two children for 20 minutes,” says the upset mom.

“The gangsters need to stop. They also have families that go to school.”

On Tuesday evening, teachers and parents met with police and provincial school authorities.

Residents said they refused to send their children to school, as gangsters wielding semi-automatic rifles terrorised the area.

On Monday and Tuesday morning, teachers and parents held a picket along Prince George Drive to raise awareness about their plight.

Some of their placards read: “Help stop the violence in Lavender Hill”, “Down with Plato’s empty promises”, “Restore our community to save our integrity” and “No more shooting in Lavender Hill”.

On Tuesday, Western Cape Education Department district chief director, Alan Meyer, promised that Premier Helen Zille and Education MEC Debbie Schäfer would meet with them tomorrow at the southern school district head office to discuss solutions.

Discussions were also being held with the City of Cape Town about the deployment of the Stabilisation Unit in the area.

With an undertaking from Mitchells Plain/Steenberg Cluster chief, Major-General Greg Goss, that extra police patrols would be provided and that the cluster’s Tactical Response Team (TRT) would be on standby, teachers resolved to return to school to educate the pupils.

All four schools reopened yesterday and police vehicles were visible in and around all the schools.

The WCED’s Jessica Shelver says learners are mostly at risk while walking to and from school.

Only 31 percent of learners at Hillwood Primary came to school yesterday.

Recommended for you