About 25 learners from ID Mkizhe and Fezeka high schools in Gugulethu marched from the local mall to the police station on Thursday. They demanded police visibility in the morning and afternoon when they go to and return from school. They want the police to take action against drug deals on or near the school premises, and for the police to arrest learners who take drugs on school premises.
The march was organised by the learners and Equal Education.
The protesters sang and waved placards, some of which read: “My safety, My Education, My School.” The protest is the first in a series of protests planned for the next week by Equal Education on school safety. It will culminate in a march to Parliament on 27 October. In 2015 Equal Education audited nearly 250 schools in the Western Cape and found significant safety problems.
“This is part of our provincial campaign on safety in schools. Schools should be safe places for learning. Police should get rid of drug dealers near schools,” says Sindisa Monakali from Equal Education.
Dunyiswa Dyantyi a grade 11 learner at Fezeka High says, “I travel by train from Khayelitsha to Nyanga Junction then walk a distance to school. Every time in the morning we get robbed or abused by skollies who follow us from the train station to school.”
Dunyiswa says that even during lessons “skollies” threaten them. “One day we all went flat under our desks when a skollie waved a gun through the window. The skollie then went away leaving us so frustrated that we could not go for any other lessons that day.”
Another learner says that they had a similar march last year to Nyanga police station but police only patrolled the area for a week. “We now thought of coming to Gugulethu. Maybe the police may understand us better,” she says.
A police officer received the memorandum and promised to visit the schools on Friday.
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