Gun-toting pupil also a smuggler?

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mpumalanga police have to confirm whether the Grade 12 student who shot a cop was involved in a vehicle smuggling syndicate between South Africa and Mozambique.

"We cannot rule out the possibility of the suspect's alleged involvement in a vehicle smuggling syndicate across the border into Mozambique.

"Only investigations will be able to reveal that," said Mpumalanga police spokesman Captain Leonard Hlathi yesterday.

Mpumalanga spokesman for the department of education Hlahla Ngwenya said his department was investigating how the 25-year-old student was allowed to be in school.

Professor Harry Nengwekhulu, education expert and technical adviser, told Sowetan that in reality there were many students who were over 18 years of age and still at school.

He said, however, that he saw nothing wrong with a 25-year-old man still attending school.

Nengwekhulu confirmed that this was against the Schools Act, but said the department was caught up in a situation that was being dealt with nationwide.

"This problem is not unique to Mpumalanga.

"The national Education Department is currently formulating policy on this very issue," said Nengwekhulu yesterday.

He said the department had a formula relating to giving funds to schools.

"The more learners with the unacceptable age in a school, the less money the school will receive from the department of education," said Nengwekhulu.

Meanwhile, the Schools Act states that a person should no longer be admitted to school if they are above the age of 18 years.

This was, however, not the case with the Mayibuye High School Grade 12 learner accused of shooting and injuring a cop on October 10.