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Nooitgedacht school children protest after shootings

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Two people killed in a shooting outside the school on Sunday

Photo of protesters
Learners from Nooitgedacht Primary in Bishop Lavis picketed on Tuesday against violence in the community. Photo: Tariro Washinyira
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Hundreds of learners from Nooitgedacht Primary in Bishop Lavis picketed on Tuesday against violence in their community. Residents held placards along Sobukwe Road in support of the school protest.

Standing against the fence, holding a poster that read “We want to learn”, a grade two learner, Ezekiel, told GroundUp: “The gangsters shoot everyday. We want to be free.”

“I can’t even tell you how I honestly feel,” said Carmen Johnson, whose 16-year-old son Keaton was shot dead on Sunday. “He was shot around 2pm and later died at Tygerberg hospital around 4pm.”

Also at the protest was Pastor Shareni Ganger holding a placard with printed photographs of Stacy Ganger, her 12-year-old niece, who was shot dead in 2016. “No one has been arrested for her murder,” she said.

Captain FC Van Wyk of SAPS Western Cape confirmed that two males were fatally wounded in a shooting Huilbert street, Nooitgedacht, Bishop Lavis at around 3pm on Sunday.

In September last year the community held a protest demanding better policing.

“Our demands are still the same. Nothing has changed,” said Victor Altensteadt, president of the Bishop Lavis Action Committee. He said they have been demanding base camps, tactical response units in the hotspots, and for the Cape Flats to be declared a disaster area.

“Where are the people getting guns from? … Police are corrupt. There are 15-year-old boys here walking around with guns and I assure you they get them from police,” fumed Nicola Slinger, born and raised in Bishop Lavis.

Glenda Pieterse, Deputy Principal at Nooitgedacht, said she had been teaching at the school for over ten years. “Today we have decided as a school to take a stand and let the community know that as educators we want to be safe … We want our children to learn without disturbances. Yesterday [Monday] we had to spend the whole day counselling both educators and learners,” she said.

Van Wyk told GroundUp that Anti-Gang Unit members were on the scene looking for clues.

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TOPICS:  Crime Education