Booze and drugs at schools of vice

Dan Fuphe

"I am an alcoholic," one of 11 school children arrested at a school in a raid for drugs told police.

Eleven pupils, among them a girl with a bottle of whisky, were detained when the Etwatwa police raided two local high schools for drugs and dangerous weapons on Friday morning.

Police also found three pocket knives, a table knife, a pornographic Dvd, dice, cards, rings and earrings. Two packets of dagga were found hidden in the boys' toilet.

Captain Rovictor Roberts, who led the raid, said of those arrested six were from Vezu'khono High School and five were pupils at the newly established Barcelona Ext 3 High School. Their ages ranged from 14 to 20 years.

"We are going to involve the two school principals and the children's parents before we release them on a warning," Roberts said.

He said he was happy that the education department had given permission for such raids in an effort to reduce crime at schools.

When asked by a police officer why she had brought whisky to school, the unidentified girl admitted she had a drinking problem and needed help.

Etwatwa police station commissioner Senior Superintendent Phostic Maoto confirms that schools in the area are fast becoming dens of vice where the use of drugs is common.

"The most common drug used by learners is dagga," Maoto said.

"We have on record that most of the crimes committed in this area by youths are the result of dagga usage."

A source close to the police told Sowetan that boys and girls as young as 10 were also being exposed to pornographic material by men often posing as hawkers near schools and taxi ranks.