Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

Pupil who shot principal targeted other teachers as well – Gauteng Education MEC

The MEC confirmed the pupil's appearance in the Germiston Magistrate's Court on Monday.

A pupil who was arrested for shooting his school’s principal allegedly had intentions to also harm two other teachers, says Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane.

On Monday, Chiloane visited the Primrose Primary School in Germiston, Ekurhuleni, after a Grade 6 pupil reportedly shot the principal last week.

The principal, according to the Gauteng Department of Education, was shot by the 13-year-old boy at the school’s staff room after an earlier interaction.

It is alleged that the firearm belonged to the pupil’s parent.


Speaking to the media at the school on Monday, Chiloane said teachers were “shaken” by the incident as the 13-year-old boy, who was questioned by the police, planned to shoot three people at the school.

He confirmed the pupil’s appearance in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court on Monday after his arrest.

“The law says when a child is under 14, the decision lies with the magistrate as whether the child goes to juvenile and etcetera,” Chiloane said.

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The Child Justice Act states that “a child who is 10 years or older but under the age of 14 years and who commits an offence is presumed to lack criminal capacity, unless the state proves that he or she has criminal capacity”.

The legislation also says that a child under the age of 14 years may not be sentenced to imprisonment, which “should only be used as measure of last resort and only for the shortest appropriate period fine”.

The MEC also revealed that his father had been arrested in connection with the incident.

“He will be charged with negligence.”

Rehabilitation process

Chiloane said there would a process from the provincial department’s side “until the child gets reintroduced back into the system”.

“The child would has to go under a lot of rehabilitation where we are all comfortable [to do so] because we have seen within our own research that children tend to have a repetitive behaviour.

“It’s either they learn from the incident and say this is not right… or they feel they can do better and be better prepared next time they execute.

“So we are not certain [and] until we are comfortable then the child would have to go under a very stringent rehabilitative process and then we [will] take it from there.”

READ MORE: Principal shooting: Gauteng Education MEC tells pupils ‘there’s jail for children and it’s not nice’

On whether the pupil will be expelled, Chiloane stressed that the pupil would need to be assessed by professionals first.

“There’s need to be some form of authorisation or approval from one of the professionals, [whether] be it a social worker [or] a psychiatrist, that actually gives us assurance as the department that this child has gone through a particular restorative process and they can be accepted back into the system as opposed to just moving the child from one school and then searching for another.

“If you do that, the child does not change and take their behaviour into the next school and spoil another school until they are ultimately outside of the system entirely.”


Regarding security measures, Chiloane pointed out the school was about 500 metres from a police station and was already working with an armed response security company.

“They have said this is a good school. They’ve never had problems except burglaries, vandalism or theft after hours.”

He confirmed that the provincial department would [put] interim safety measures for the next few months “until we feel the situation has stabilised”.

The MEC later stated that the pupil had targeted his class teacher, deputy principal and principal in particular because they alerted his parents about his poor academic performance.

READ MORE: GDE sets 5-day deadline for investigation into tragic death of Thokoza pupil

“The parent was supposed to come on Friday and the child didn’t tell them. Now when [he was interrogated], he said every time his parents were called, they would punish him at home. So he didn’t want to tell his parents.

“On the school’s side, they have done their part in terms of follow-ups, taking the necessary steps to protect the child and also make sure that the child performs in school.”

Chiloane would, however, not elaborate on the type of punishment the pupil faced.

“I don’t have specifics of what kind of punishment, but you can assume perhaps there’s a bit of abuse taking place.”

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