Johannesburg – Metro police will be deployed outside Gauteng schools experiencing high crime rates during drop-off and collection periods.
This plan has been announced by MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane following a shoot-out this week at the Edenvale High School in which two armed suspects were killed by police.
They were part of a gang trying to commit a robbery while school was in session.
Last week, at Dowerglen High School in Edenvale, an 18-year-old pupil was struck in the chest by stray bullets as cable thieves ran through the school trying to flee security guards.
“Parents are robbed outside schools and this is becoming a trend,” said Nkosi-Malobane, who said schools would now be assessed for their security needs. “We are going to increase police visibility and resources to deal with this.
“We cannot let criminals endanger the lives of learners and teachers. It is unbelievable that schools are now targeted by criminal gangs. It cannot be allowed to happen.”
Residents of Edenvale were “petrified” by the high rate of crime in their suburb, said DA councillor William Rundle.
Local residents were outraged, he said, adding that the political representative in the area would meet with the police station commander to demand answers about a string of robberies in the suburb.
“We need a full report. People send their children to school and expect them to be safe. We don’t want to speculate, but there must be answers given.
“People are petrified. Crime is getting out hand in this area. There are issues with the police station here. It is understaffed, we have had station managers coming and going. We need stability.”
Yesterday, the Gauteng Community Safety Department said it would work on plans to bolster safety around school precincts in areas experiencing high crime rates.
Nkosi-Malobane said scholar patrols would be placed in non-fee paying schools.
“We want schools to be safe. In fee-paying schools, we are working together with security companies.”
In the Edenvale attack, a third suspect was wounded and a fourth has been apprehended.
Nkosi-Malobane said preliminary investigations revealed that the robbers at Edenvale High were targeting a contractor who was due to pay his workers.
“The contractor was doing some work at the school.”