Ms Thandi Nontenja
UDEMWO Secretary General

The United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is concerned by the continued crime and violence that are prevalent in many schools throughout the country. There seems to be an increase of criminal activities in our schools that puts our pupils’ safety and lives at risk. This is a threat to education and jeopardises our children’s basic rights as entrenched in the Constitution.

Not a day passes without reports of shootouts, stabbings and even rapes in full view of pupils; under the noses of teachers and principals. Firearms brought to school and shootouts on school premises have become somewhat of a norm. In most cases children are the victims. These kinds of crimes are happening in the Western Cape, Gauteng and in KwaZulu-Natal – to name a few.

UDEMWO also notes with sadness reports of parents that assault teachers at some schools, especially in Gauteng. We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms.

What kind of society is this? Clearly there is something very wrong with our schooling system, where learners are not safe to learn and teachers are not safe to teach.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga’s silence is deafening. She is only a minister by title. So much has happened under her leadership. We however note the interventions made by the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi but it is not enough.

This situation is unacceptable, and all stakeholders involved cannot allow this crisis in our schools to continue. It is time to for them have an urgent meeting and find permanent solutions to these problems which affect our children’s and our country’s futures.

Statement issued by Ms Thandi Nontenja, UDEMWO Secretary General.