A teacher at Al Azhar primary school in Lotus river was shot on the school premises during a gang related shooting on Thursday afternoon. Grassy park police spokesperson Warrant officer Juanita Kleinsmith said gang members from the Mongrels and Yurucats were involved in a shootout outside the school grounds. The school is situated in Yurucat territory.
“The teacher was caught in the crossfire and sustained a wound to shoulder. He was later rushed to hospital,” said Kleinsmith.
The school’s administrator Sheikh Mogammad Amien Jardien said they are shocked by the incident.
“This is the first time in a very long time this happened, because most of the gang related activities takes place after hours when our children are not there,” he said.
The educator was about to enter the school office when he was struck by the bullet. Jardien said some gang members were seen about 100 metres away from the school, with the opposing side shooting from the nearby flats.
While teachers and learners are prepared for drills in the case of such incidents, he said this was “unfortunate”.
“We have our drills, in the case of an emergency. In this case, it was too little too late to take the necessary precaution to get out of the crossfire.”
Learners and staff were immediately evacuated from the premises and will be provided trauma counseling on Friday. The school will also inform staff and parents of their plans to deal with the outbreak of violence.
VOC reporter Ra’eesah Isaacs said the school was locked upon her arrival at the school and there were tense scenes outside. Residents said gang shootouts were not unusual and there are currently four rival gangs vying for turf in the area.
Anyone with information can contact Grassy park police station on 021 700 3900. VOC