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Increased Gangsterism at Rondebult Secondary School Alarms Concerned Parents



Increased Gangsterism at Rondebult Secondary School Alarms Parents

Parents of Rondebult Secondary School in Germiston, Johannesburg, have expressed their concerns to the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, regarding a series of gang-related fights and bullying incidents that have been plaguing the school. The alarming situation unfolded in February when learners from the school engaged in gang wars as reported by IOL. Subsequently, in April, these conflicts escalated beyond the school premises involving a faction known as the Scotlands and Aziwe affiliates.

During a meeting held to address the issue, confusion arose regarding how to resolve the matter since some of the learners involved were not from Rondebult but from other schools. A concerned parent clarified that the Scotlands were not a gang but rather study groups. However, they had been subjected to bullying by members of Aziwe, who carried weapons and intimidated other students.

The recent outbreak of fighting and violence at the school was triggered by a community fight that took place over a weekend in April, following the incidents in February. As a result, concerned parents gathered for a meeting aimed at finding solutions to the problem, and some parents have taken their concerns directly to the Minister.

In an email, one parent expressed worry about the escalating gang violence among learners, which has created an atmosphere of fear. The parent asserted that the government’s responsible for providing a safe and conducive learning environment for their children. The level of gangsterism at Rondebult Secondary School has reached an alarming point, leading to violence and intimidation, thereby negatively impacting academic performance, the parent alleged.

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Some parents have called for increased security measures at the school, including the installation of surveillance cameras, as the current security personnel are deemed insufficient. In addition, they urge the Minister to take swift action by deploying additional law enforcement officers and implementing educational programs that enlighten students about the dangers of gangsterism while providing alternative activities to keep them away from criminal behaviour.

These incidents at Rondebult Secondary School reflect a broader concern highlighted by Khume Ramulifho, the Democratic Alliance shadow MEC of education. During an oversight inspection at Almont Technical School in Protea South, Soweto, Ramulifho witnessed a learner fleeing from another student who allegedly threatened him with a knife. Incidents of violence at schools continue to occur despite police patrols and searches, he remarked.

Ramulifho mentioned that weapons, alcohol, and drugs had been discovered at some schools. Another violent incident was reported at Ruabohlale High in Soshanguve, Tshwane, where a learner stabbed another multiple times in the stomach on school premises. The Democratic Alliance has long been advocating for a review of the provincial department’s school safety strategy due to the persistent violence in schools. In light of the ongoing safety concerns, the Gauteng Department of Education plans to address these matters during a media briefing later this week.

The Ministry of Basic Education could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. However, in a recent press statement, the ministry emphasised its commitment to school safety, stating that violence, drug use, sexual harassment, and other criminal acts have no place in schools. The department considers these issues as serious obstacles to learning, infringing upon learners’ constitutional rights to life, education, equality, and dignity.

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