The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, has ex pressed her shock, dismay and sadness at the death of Tembisa’s Phomolong High School Deputy Principal Thembisile Ngendane in a shooting outside the school on Friday.
Mbinqo-Gigaba said: “This is extremely sad. It is an increasingly worrying trend to note that since the start of the school year incidences of violence, especially firearm-related, have played themselves out in our school areas. This is the last place anyone should feel unsafe.”
Her comments follow reports by the Gauteng Education Department confirming that a 50-year-old educator was allegedly ambushed just outside the school gate by three men on Friday, who fired several shots at her car on the school’s driveway.
According to reports, she tried to get out of her car to evade the hail of bullets, but collapsed next to her vehicle. One of the gunmen allegedly followed her and shot at her whilst she was lying on the ground. The man then fled the scene without taking anything.
Mbinqo-Gigaba said initial indications clearly point to a specific attack on the educator. “This is wrong. Educators are there to assist learners in order to build a better future for our learners, especially underprivileged learners of our country. Violence, especially on our school grounds, is totally unacceptable.”
Mbinqo-Gigaba continued: “I urge the authorities to leave no stone unturned to reach to the bottom of this death of this educator and deal harshly with the perpetrators. Authorities must also provide the necessary psycho-social support to all those involved. Furthermore, we will take the matter of violence in our schools up with the education authorities.”
Mbinqo-Gigaba called on the communities to work with the authorities in dealing with violence in schools, as the problem of violence arises from socio-economic circumstances. Furthermore, Mbinqo-Gigaba said education is a societal matter and everyone should be involved to ensure that schools are always safe places.
Mbinqo-Gigaba expressed heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and school community of Ngendane. May her soul rest in eternal peace.”