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Gugulethu cops put pupils in police van 'for photo op'

The grade 8 pupils were found with knives during a search and seizure operation.

A police officer walks with two students at the Fezeka Secondary School during a search and seizure operation on 12 May 2016. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Gugulethu police have admitted they put two Grade eight learners in a police van just for a photo opportunity.

#SchoolSearch: transcript between police officer and EWN reporter Siyabonga Sesant [SS]: pic.twitter.com/OQs78IRGCD

The boys at Fezeka Secondary School were found with knives during a search and seizure operation by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

When asked about the incident, Gugulethu Station Commander Patrick Benenengu said, "To keep them away from other children because they were found with big knives."

Benenengu admitted putting two Fezeka Secondary School learners into a police van was just for show.

"Yes, it was just for the media but now they're just at the principal's office."

#SchoolSearch: watch as the learners - apparently found with knives - are put into the van. @4everSiya was there. SS pic.twitter.com/QmI9Huoy7T

Education MEC Debbie Schafer says police officers did not follow protocol.

She says they should have been taken to the principal's office first and their parents should have been called.

#SchoolSearch Police will now apologise to boys' parents for "arresting" them without following protocol first. SS pic.twitter.com/nAVIH70YpC

Benenengu said police will apologise to the parents.

The school has issued a warning to both boys for carrying deadly weapons.