School, ministry rattled by AK-47 threat

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Windhoek

Namibian Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said the incident whereby a St Georges College pupil threatened to shoot teachers and fellow learners was amicably resolved after a meeting between the school staff and the parents of the learner concerned.

Kanguatjivi said on Tuesday that – following a number of inquiries from newspapers about the case – he had contacted the Serious Crime Unit, which in turn contacted the school and was told that the matter has since been resolved.

In his Facebook posts the suspended Grade 11 learner threatened to shoot a number of teachers at the school. In a social media update posted on Sunday the learner said he would take an AK-47 – apparently used by his father – to shoot his Biology, Geography, English, Mathematics, German and Physical Science teachers.

“If they want us to start passing, instead of kicking the kids out of school, it’s time to start kicking some of the teachers out of school. My principal knows I’m right,” read another of his Facebook updates.

NamPol’s Kanguatjivi confirmed yesterday that no criminal case has been opened. “I read the school principal and the pupil’s post… and I’m sure our Serious Crime Unit is not taking this lightly. We did not deploy police officers, but we are certainly not taking the threats lightly,” he said.

During a visit to the school by this reporter on Tuesday morning the atmosphere appeared cordial and school activities went on as usual. The principal of St George’s Diocesan College, Reinette Hanekom, said through the school secretary that said she was not available for comment and that the school would only communicate with the parents of the concerned learner regarding the issue.

The Ministry of Education issued a statement, saying it is awaiting a full report and briefing from the governing board of the school. The ministry said it does not condone any threats, intimidation, bullying, victimisation, or any act of violence against staff and learners at state-run schools.

“By law, weapons and all material contrary to the interest of learners are prohibited from school grounds. In cases where this is violated, the ministry follows all disciplinary procedures in accordance with, and as stipulated in the Education Act,” the official statement said.

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