Pupil in court over murder

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A 19-year-old schoolboy will appear in the Bergville magistrate's court today for the murder of a fellow pupil.

The schoolboy faces charges of murder after he stabbed allegedly S'thembiso Mazibuko, 18, to death at Mafu High School in Bergville last Thursday.

The incident has left teachers and pupils in shock. Mazibuko was stabbed during morning assembly.

A teacher at a neighbouring school told Sowetan that she now felt unsafe in a classroom.

The issue of giving teachers the power to search pupils for weapons and drugs at school is currently under discussion in Parliament.

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) says it would not be good for a learning environment to have teachers carrying out police functions.

Naptosa spokesman Anthony Pierce said this would put the safety of teachers at risk.

"It is the responsibility of the state to ensure that basic education is delivered in an environment that is safe."

MEC for education in KwaZulu-Natal Ina Cronje recently announced that her department would deploy 3000 security guards at poor schools during the 2008/09 financial year.

While the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) applauded Cronje for the decision to deploy security guards at the poorest schools, the National Teachers Union (Natu) is opposed to the idea.

Natu spokesman Allen Thompson says there is no instrument to measure safety and that all schools need security guards.

The Kwazulu-Natal schools are not only faced with the problem of violence among pupils, but there have been incidents where pupils have attacked teachers and recently security guards have also fallen prey to criminals targeting schools.