SA schools are killing fields and it is unacceptable

Ideas

SA schools are killing fields and it is unacceptable

The institutions will only become safe when the surrounding communities are safer

Columnist

Chances are you have never heard of Thulani Manqoyi. That’s because of the routine nature of everyday killings in Mzansi, from the elimination of political competition ahead of the upcoming local elections to the assassination of courageous whistle-blowers. We have become so desensitised to the taking of human lives that we literally walk over a corpse in the street; I saw that first-hand when I worked at a university in Umlazi. The only ones shocked by the July riots that killed more than 340 citizens are those who have not been paying attention to the everydayness of violence and murder in our broken country.

Even with our benumbed senses, there is something chilling about the death this week of Manqoyi. He was a grade 6 maths teacher at Heinz Park Primary School in Philippi East, Cape Town. Two thugs made a mockery of security at the gate, walked to the school’s parking lot where Manqoyi was sitting in his car and pumped bullets into the educator’s body. Then they strolled away, according to eyewitnesses, as if on a casual walk in these first days of spring.

Earlier this same month, a woman dropped off her child at her Benoni preschool in Miles Sharp Street, Rynfield. As the mom returned to her car, her lover approached, argued, smashed the car window, went to his taxi and returned with petrol that he poured onto his partner and her car, dousing himself in the process. The woman, helped by a friend in the same car, was then set alight and rushed to a nearby field, rolling in the grass to extinguish the flames. The lover (whatever that word means) then tried to run them over in the field and the women rushed to the school for help...

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