Metal scanners, drug kits rollout for 200 schools

An police officer searches pupils' school bags for drugs and weapons at Bhekiswayo High in Mpumalanga during a raid yesterday. /Mandla Khoza
An police officer searches pupils' school bags for drugs and weapons at Bhekiswayo High in Mpumalanga during a raid yesterday. /Mandla Khoza

The Mpumalanga department of education is planning to install metal detector machines and provide drug test kits to 200 schools in the province.

MEC Bonaire Majuba outlined the plan yesterday during an operation meant to curb crime and violence at schools in the province.

The operation saw police raid Bhekiswayo High School near Hazyview and searched pupils for weapons and drugs.

They found a pupil in possession of a knife but Majuba believes pupils were tipped about the raid, adding that the operation would also be conducted in schools which are deemed troublesome.

Police have discovered gangs operate in some schools, after a pupil was stabbed at a school last week.

They said some pupils were selling dagga at the schools.

"The issue of school safety is a serious concern to everyone. The safety of our teachers and learners at schools remains paramount and gives us sleepless nights," Majuba said.

"Violence and other forms of social ills must not find space in any of our schools. We can't have drug dealers and criminals at our schools.

"We can't compromise the safety of our pupils. We will provide 200 schools with drug testing devices and metal detectors to enable schools to conduct random searches and seizure."

Majuba said they would ensure that all schools have security fences and conduct social crime prevention programmes that focus on substance abuse, bullying and prevention of sexual offences, among others.

Last week, a learner was stabbed to death in Barberton taxi rank when they went to buy lunch during break time in what is suspected to be a gang-related attack.

Police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said schools in the province were encouraged to "adopt a cop" program which aimed to have one office at their nearest police station to work with the school in combating crime at schools.

"This operation is ongoing and we are going to make sure that we work with the department of education in curbing crime at schools because if there is crime at schools, we will be raising criminals and compromising the safety of the learners," said Hlathi.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X