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Drugs, weapons among items confiscated from Mitchells Plain pupils

The Western Cape Education Department says the operation was conducted after reports of an increase in drugs and weapons at at Woodlands Secondary.

A SAPS officer searches a learner’s bag during a search and seizure operation at Woodlands Secondary School in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) have confiscated a box of contraband and weapons from learners at a Mitchells Plain school.

Members of the police conducted a search and seizure operation at Woodlands Secondary School on Thursday morning.

The WCED says the operation was conducted after reports of an increase in drugs and weapons in the school.

Learners of Woodlands Secondary School had their hands on their desks and school bags open while officers searched through their belongings.

Police found items including knives, screwdrivers, dagga and cigarettes on learners in various grades at the school.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer says she is concerned about learners entering the school premises with weapons.

She says they chose to do the random search at the school because there are frequent instances of violence and drug abuse.

“We worked together with our Community Safety Department and SAPS. We have a number of interventions, as the Education Department, but other role players in the community also need to assist us.”

Community Safety MEC Alan Winde says school violence is a concern and his department will continue to work with the Education Department through the Safer Schools Programme.

“A big issue at the moment here is gangsterism and drugs. So, the message to all governing bodies is to make sure that you are requesting police to come in.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)