Cabinet has called on all communities to work together to protect children from any form of danger and abuse.
Addressing a media briefing on Thursday following a Cabinet meeting, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said Cabinet encouraged all those who live in the country to partner with the South African Police Service in an effort to keep communities safe.
Cabinet has expressed concern following disturbing reports of crimes against children, the most recent one being the alleged sexual assault of more than 80 pupils at the AB Xuma Primary School in Orlando, Soweto by a scholar patrol guard.
The provincial department is commended for the prompt response by removing, with immediate effect, the senior management of the school, bringing on board social workers and instituting an investigation by an independent body, Minister Kubayi said.
At least 87 pupils at the school alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by a scholar patroller. The 57-year-old man's services were terminated with immediate effect and an investigation into his appointment has been launched. The school principal and the entire senior management has since been removed.
Following this week's mass demonstration led by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU), Cabinet expressed confidence that end-of-year school examinations will proceed without interruption.
SADTU handed over a memorandum to the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga, who has committed to resolving issues of concern as speedily as possibly.
It is important that all stakeholders work together to create a conducive environment to better enable learners to focus on learning and their examinations, Minister Kubayi said.
Attacks on police
Cabinet has condemned the attack on six South African Police Service members in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng by members of the community last week.
The law-enforcement agencies are mandated to protect society from any act of criminality. Therefore, no amount of anger can justify anyone attacking the law-enforcement agencies, she said.
Cabinet has urged members of that community to work with the police to apprehend criminal elements and help make South Africa safer for all.
The Minister said the public is advised to refrain from handling sick or dead birds and not to attempt to feed wild birds.
Minister Kubayi said birds that are suspected to be ill must be reported to local authorities.
Cabinet has been assured that the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is undertaking consistent surveillance on farms across the country in an effort to prevent the spread of the Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 outbreak, she said.
The strain of avian influenza has been detected in birds.
Source: South African Government News Agency