Fundile Gade, the Eastern Cape Education MEC has visited Amathole East, in the rural Cafutweni area to try to stop the crisis of killings in the village, which has disrupted teaching at some schools. Educators and learners in the area are “living in fear of who might be killed next”.
The Eastern Cape Education Department’s spokesperson, Vuyiseka Mboxela, stated there seems to be a pattern of what some may call a “killing spree” in the village as there is a trend where people are killed for no apparent reason.
When the MEC visited the village, it was also reported that there was a funeral where three people from one family were killed.
It was confirmed that the provincial police commissioner was there and made an indication that out of 26 people that were questioned by the police, six of them are closely related to the crimes.
Mboxela confirmed that these crimes have had a negative effect on teaching at schools as learners and educators are afraid to leave their homes.
Therefore, the Eastern Cape Education Department has decided to close the schools in the area.
“It started last year when people would just be shot and you find that there is nothing that is traced to the crime. What is actually happening is that there is a suspicion that there could be drug issues that are taking place. The other issue that the MEC has raised is that a solution needs to be found to the problem of taverns that are close to schools and operate for 24 hours and that also contribute,” said Mboxela.
To date, about 22 people have reportedly been gunned down since last year.
Police are continuing to investigate the crimes which have taken place in the community.