Ongwediva-The police have arrested the owner of the pistol used in killing Titus Shange, who was a learner at Iimbili Combined School, in an incident that has shocked parents and teachers in the north.
Shange died from a single gunshot to his chest during break at the school last Thursday.
The 11-year-old suspect’s grandfather faces two charges – contravening the arms and ammunition act and negligent handling of a firearm.
The accused allegedly owns three firearms illegally – the Makarov pistol that was in the learner’s possession at school, a shotgun and a rifle.
The police spokesperson in Ohangwena Region, Sergeant Abner Iitumba, said the accused failed to provide licences for the three firearms and also failed to keep the firearms in a safe.
“According to the suspect, he inherited the firearms but claims he cannot find the licences,” said Iitumba.
Iitumba explained that the norm is that inherited firearms should be taken to a police station within seven days, with an execution letter from the magistrate’s court to determine who is capable of handling the firearm and so inherit it, Iitumba added.
Iitumba said the 11-year-old boy was removing the chamber from the gun when the shot went off, striking his classmate who was seated in the corner of the classroom. It is further alleged that the boy obtained the pistol from under a pillow and went with it to school the day before the incident.
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, has conveyed condolences to the bereaved family and the school community.
“We realize that this is a traumatic incident that can have a major impact on the emotional wellbeing and responses of all affected. The Ohangwena regional directorate visited the school, engaged the parents and will continue to offer psychological support to the family and learners,” said Steenkamp.