A Manenberg school principal was on Monday scheduled to visit the home of a little boy who is too traumatised to return to class after he was allegedly handcuffed and “arrested” for “stealing R5”.
The school resource officer allegedly involved in the incident, who is a metro police member assigned on a long-term basis to help make schools safer learning environments, has since been replaced, the Western Cape Department of Education has confirmed.
The officer allegedly cuffed the child and left the premises of Red River Primary, driving the seven-year-old to Nyanga Junction, after reportedly telling him he was going to jail.
The child’s father told the Daily Voice that a pupil had come to the house and told his wife that his son had been arrested.
The child reportedly told his parents that he alone had been cuffed after he and other boys had been accused of stealing the money from a wallet.
According to the publication, the little boy said he was loaded into a white van and driven to a local shopping centre, where the officers bought a gatsby before taking him back to school.
City of Cape Town executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman on Monday told News24 that the law enforcement department was “aware of the situation”.
“We are in contact with the school, the learner’s family as well as the officers involved to ascertain what exactly happened. This is a sensitive situation that extends beyond the incident mentioned, and we are trying to deal with it in the appropriate manner,” Bosman said.
“In the event that it is found any City staff member acted improperly, corrective action will be taken.”
Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the principal had only been informed of what had allegedly transpired the morning after the incident.
She said they were investigating and liaising with the City of Cape Town, to whom the matter was reported.
“In the interim, the school resource officer involved has been replaced by another officer at the school,” Hammond said.
The case was also reported to the department’s social worker for counselling assistance.
“The principal reported that the learner was not at school [on Monday] and will be making a home visit to encourage the learner to come back to school and the offer of counselling support.”