- A Cape Town school has issued a circular informing parents of a near abduction on Thursday outside the schoolgrounds.
- The incident, at the Livingstone High school, saw a group of men trying to rob a learner of her cellphone.
- The WCED said they are aware of the incident.
Livingstone High School in Claremont, Cape Town, has requested police to do visible patrols during dismissal times, after a pupil was attacked by a group of men in a car while leaving the school.
The school described the incident as a "near abduction" on Thursday afternoon.
In a circular to parents, the school said the "learner is shaken but safe."
Kerry Mauchline, spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said that the department was informed about the incident.
"The perpetrators allegedly tried to snatch the learner's cellphone, the learner held on making it appear to witnesses like they were pulling on the learner," added Mauchline, following reports of the near abduction.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said the 14-year-old girl was at the back entrance of the school in Leraar Street when she was approached by a white Nissan Sentra with three occupants.
"The suspects wore black jackets and blue jeans and had no weapons on them. The males approached the learner and attempted to grab the learner's cellular telephone, when the learner resisted a struggle ensued. The suspects managed to take the cellular telephone and left the area," added Van Wyk.
The Sector Commanders were dispatched to the scene; however, the learner had already left by the time they arrived.
According to SAPS, no case was opened following the incident.
Claremont SAPS and Social Crime Prevention Unit had visited the school on Thursday after the incident, but the learner was traumatised and was taken for medical care by her parents.
The WCED said the safety of learners outside the school gates remains beyond the school's control.
"Learners should always remain vigilant and should practice the following safety measures," Mauchline added.
The department said learners who are picked up at their school by parents or caregivers should remain within the school property until they have visibly identified their mode of transport.
Learners who require public transport and are expected to walk to their relevant departure areas should always travel in groups.
Moeshfieka Botha, a parent of a Livingstone learner, said that she is "deeply concerned" over the matter.
"I cannot physically take and collect my child from school, therefore I make use of private minibus transport that has to wait outside of the school premises - some even park roads away," he said, adding:
This puts our children in a very vulnerable position when either waiting for their transport, walking to their transport, or as they wait for a public bus.
Botha added that as a public school with limited resources, having to deal with everyday schooling issues, exams, Covid-19 protocols as well as positive Covid-19 cases the school is "doing the best with what they have".
WCED added that schools should also ensure that learners are aware of "stranger danger". While we do not want to frighten them, they must know that they should be wary and run away if any stranger approaches them.
The WCED said it has arranged an appointment with the school counsellor for the learner.
The principal of Livingstone High did not want to comment.