'Police must ensure safety in Manenberg'

WC Education says it cannot be expected to do the police's job.

WC Education's Bronagh Casey says they cannot be expected to do the police's job. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department says it's not trying to avoid taking responsibility for school safety in gang-stricken Manenberg.

But the department says it does not have the resources to guarantee children are safe travelling to and from school because that is the responsibility of the police.

Last week, staff at five Manenberg schools was granted a high court order forcing the province to improve security at high-risk institutions, but the ruling was overturned days later when the department went back to court to challenge the decision claiming it to be "impractical".

Western Cape Education's Bronagh Casey says they cannot be expected to do the police's job.

"This is why we challenged it in court in terms of learners travelling to and from school in the community. At no stage have we attempted to shake our responsibilities with regard to the learners and employees."

The ANC has threatened to bring criminal charges against Premier Helen Zille and her education MEC should a pupil in Manenberg be hurt or killed due to gang violence in the community.

There's been a resurgence of violence in Manenberg.

The ANC's Marius Fransman says it's the responsibility of the provincial department to ensure pupils and staff feel safe at schools.

"Teachers and learners must feel safe at schools."