The DA is calling on the North West Department of Education to ensure that learners and educators are shielded from brazen acts of criminality that has become the norm in this province.
This follows an incident where criminals escaped police custody and took refuge in a bush next to Victory Primary School in Mahikeng.
According to some of the pupils and the principal, two men were spotted hiding in the bushes next to the classrooms in possession of firearms. The school immediately alerted the police, and the duo was later apprehended. It is reported that the suspects had escaped custody at Mahikeng Police station.
The principal stated that the escaped criminals did not enter the school premises, but some parents claim that they did enter classrooms, leaving their children traumatised. It is important that developments around this incident are investigated.
The DA calls on the Department of Education to offer psychological support to learners and staff members who are clearly distraught by the incident, especially because it occurred during examinations.
We also call on the Mahikeng Local Municipality to ensure that the bush next to the school is cleared to avoid such incidents in the future.
Safety in and around schools should be of the utmost priority especially at a time we have seen a surge in crime. According to the 2022/23 Second Quarter crime statistics, community reported serious crimes surged by 16,3% compared to the same period last year from 21 113 cases to 24 564.
Public places such as fields like the bush next to Victory Primary School is where most of these serious crimes occur.