'WC school shooting is gang related'

Pupils at Spes Bona High School say they will not return to school until their safety is guaranteed.

The entrance to Spes Bona High School in Athlone after a matriculant was shot in the head. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant on Wednesday said his department would monitor the situation at Spes Bona High School in Athlone after a pupil was shot on school premises.

Enrico Martin was shot in the head and died at the Groote Schuur Hospital.

It is believed three men entered the school gates and opened fire before fleeing the scene.

"It appears to be gang related and its believed the perpetrators wore school uniform to gain access to the school," added Grant.

Pupil Quwin Bobber said he was still in shock after witnessing the shooting.

"This guy came from behind and shot Enrico in the head."

Bobber said he saw a man in casual clothes and a backpack fleeing the scene.

The learner added the shooting immediately caused mass hysteria among learners who left the school in tears.

The incident has spooked parents who said they would not be sending their children to school until the principal guaranteed their safety.


Meanwhile, the Western Cape Community Policing Board is highly concerned about the surge of gang violence in some Cape Town communities.

A number of people have been shot dead in the past week in Delft, Mitchells Plain, Kraaifontein and Elsies River.

Last Thursday, the brother of an alleged gang boss was wounded during a drive by shooting in Belhar.

The board's Hanif Loonat believed the drug trade is at the heart of the matter.

"It's become a normal trend in our communities to see gangsters take on each other in the public domain. In doing so, innocent people are being killed."

At the same time, the Delft Community Policing Forum (CPF) said a number of measures would be implemented to ensure the success of an anti-crime campaign.

Residents have given suspected gang and drug lords an ultimatum to stop their activities or leave the area.

Delft CPF's Reginald Maart said residents were afraid to leave their homes.

"The aim is to get all the drug lords and gang bosses out of the area. We need to take back our streets, parks and everything that belongs to the community because that's where our gangs are shooting."

The board also urged residents in gang riddled communities to refrain from selling drugs in return for favours from gang bosses.

Loonat said in many instances, parents agree to be drug runners while kingpins promised to put their children through school and satisfy other daily needs.

He said although it was a desperate attempt by poor mothers to care for their children, it was one of the reasons that gang violence remained rife in the Western Cape.

"Gangsters are as strong as the support they get from their communities. As communities we need to cut ties with these gangsters. We need to clampdown on them instead of using them as a means to put food on the table."