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Police used live ammunition on protesting pupils, admits Gauteng community safety MEC

Amanda Khoza

Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane on Tuesday admitted that the police used live ammunition on protesting pupils from Thuto-Kitso Technical School in Fochville on May 16, the DA said in a statement.

DA Gauteng legislature spokesperson on finance Ashor Sarupen said, according to Nkosi-Malobane’s response to a question asked by the DA in the legislature, the police were not authorised to use live ammunition.

“The situation only escalated when the SAPS called for backup, at which point learners were aggravated and some SAPS officers from the K-9 unit used live ammunition on protesting learners for throwing stones in their direction,” explained Sarupen.

He said Nkosi-Malobane admitted that one pupil was shot with live ammunition and hospitalised. The pupil survived.

 The pupils were protesting against a shortage of teachers at the school since the beginning of the year and the reduction of the number of teachers.

“The school continued to offer subjects for which they did not have teachers and a lack of communication from the district meant these learners were without teachers up to their mid-year exams,” said Sarupen.

DA to monitor probe

He said the pupils resorted to staging a protest after consistently being ignored by officials at the Department of Education.

“It is ironic that the ANC condemns the abuse of children in society while denying children their right to education and then shooting them for demanding their right.

“The use of live ammunition in this case was unwarranted, unacceptable and had the potential to descend into another Marikana situation,” said Sarupen.

Nkosi-Malobane has indicated that an investigation and disciplinary action are underway, said Sarupen.

The party said it would be monitoring the processes closely. – News24

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