Shooting of school principal by a grade 6 pupil sends shockwaves

Police are investigating the shooting of a principal, allegedly by a grade 6 pupil, at Primrose Hill Primary School in Germiston, in the east of Johannesburg.

The principal was rushed to a healthcare facility after the shooting on Friday morning, according to Steve Mabona, the spokesperson for the department of education in Gauteng.

It is reported that the principal noticed a group of pupils seated in the foyer and instructed them to take out their workbooks and begin studying.

“The grade 6 pupil allegedly mumbled something in response, but the principal ignored him,” said Mabona in a statement.

“He saw the learner again later near the staff room, which was when he was unfortunately shot [allegedly] by the pupil.

“The principal was rushed to a local medical facility for treatment and is currently recovering from his injuries.”

Counselling and trauma support

The parent of the pupil is allegedly the owner of the firearm, and the police are looking into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, the spokesperson for police in Gauteng, was quoted as saying that the circumstances that led to the shooting are unknown at this stage.

“The teenager [13-year-old] is expected to appear before the Germiston magistrate’s court soon on a charge of attempted murder,” she added.

Mabona said the department’s psychosocial support unit will visit the school on Monday to provide counselling and trauma support to pupils. 

“Employee wellness will also assist the principal and employees at the school following this traumatic incident,” said Mabona.

Disciplinary action

Matome Chiloane, the MEC for education in Gauteng, said he was devastated by the incident.

“We are taken aback by the nature of this incident and the manner in which it occurred, and we discourage such acts of misconduct at our schools,” Chiloane said.

“We will be invoking necessary disciplinary action against the learner while also monitoring the principal’s condition to ensure that he returns to full health.

“Our plea is for parents to not refrain from instilling discipline in their children.”

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