One of the government's prime constitutional responsibilities is to ensure our children have access to education.
Another is to maintain the rule of law.
But what is happening in Khutsong suggests that our government has lost its ability to maintain law and order, and has forsaken its responsibility to ensure the rights of those who want to learn and live in peace. Our developing democracy cannot afford this untenable situation. We cannot endure a situation where the government buries its head in the sand while anarchists run amok in Khutsong, or any other part of the country.
We all know of the stalemate in Khutsong, where the community is challenging the government's decision to hive off the area from Gauteng and incorporate it into North West.
The matter is now before the constitutional court, where the community has applied for the decision to be reversed.
Sowetan believes the situation in Khutsong must be normalised even while the constitutional court considers the matter - and this includes normal schooling in the township.
The government is responsible for ensuring stability in the area so that children can go to school. The failure to do so suggests that a weak government has lost control of the situation.
This inaction points to a lack of political will by President Mbeki and his colleagues in the government. It also fuels perceptions that law-abiding citizens in Khutsong have been thrown to the wolves as punishment for the township's boycott of the recent local government elections.
The lawlessness and wanton violence in Khutsong, at the behest of SACP organisers, have been allowed to spiral unchecked for far too long.
It is about time that Jackie Selebi and Charles Nqakula get off their bureaucratic duffs and earn their keep.
We need decisive action today to put a stop to this nonsense, which borders on anarchy.
South Africa cannot afford to allow children, who are eager to learn, to be used as cannon fodder by anarchists posing as revolutionaries. The actions of these poseurs will assuredly only turn the community of Khutsong into an island of underdevelopment.
The government must immediately institute security measures to ensure that schooling continues unhindered in Khutsong.