A former pupil of Mmametlhake Secondary School in Mpumalanga was shot in the leg after he allegedly attacked police officers at the school on Thursday.
Mpumalanga department of education spokesperson Jasper Zwane said the former pupil went to the school to see the principal.
“It is alleged that when he was told he could not see the principal, he became violent and started throwing bricks, destroying the school’s windows. Police were called in to assist… the intruder attacked them until he was shot in the leg,” Zwane said.
The youth was arrested and taken to the Mmametlhake Hospital.
A video recording of the incident has since gone viral on social media.
WARNING: Graphic imagery. Not for sensitive viewers
The 2.15min video, taken by someone inside a classroom, appears to show the attacker hurling bricks at the school’s windows.
Seconds later, a police van is seen speeding onto the school grounds, but the brick-thrower seems undeterred. He shifts his focus from stoning the school building to stoning the police van.
As the officers try to alight from the vehicle, one of the bricks slams into the passenger window, shattering it.
The officers try to retreat, but the brick-thrower continues to attack.
People can be seen scattering in different directions as the attacker comes at them, chasing the police van.
Seemingly in a bid to try to avoid him, the officer behind the wheel spins his vehicle around the attacker, but his colleague is flung out of the van through the passenger door.
The female officer lands on the ground and attempts to stand up, only to fall down a number of times.
The brick-thrower heads in the fallen officer’s direction, with a brick in hand.
Other officers leap out of the vehicle and one opens fire as the assailant prepares to hurl the brick. About three gunshots can be heard as the man falls to the ground and stops moving.
Another officer, armed with what seems like a rifle, moves close to the victim as police check on him. All of a sudden, the officer kicks the man lying on the ground several times.
Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the man had clear intentions to inflict “deadly injuries” to the female officer in the police van.
“She had to dive trying to dodge the rain of bricks that the suspect hurled at them. The perpetrator somehow managed to open the door of the police van while it was still in motion.
“It was during that process that the member fell out of the vehicle, sustaining minor injuries,” Hlathi said.
He said police attempted to avoid direct confrontation with the man, but he continued his “inexplicably crazy actions”.
Hlathi said police had no other option than to use force by shooting him.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate had been informed of the incident and would conduct an investigation.
The man was currently in hospital under police guard. Hlathi said he faced several charges, including attacking a police officer and malicious damage to property.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed on Friday they will investigate the incident.
“The IPID was notified by the SAPS late yesterday afternoon. The video footage will assist the investigation in clarifying what led to the shooting. The investigation continues and no arrest has been made,” said Dlamini.
The education department will send a team to the school on Friday to investigate the circumstances of the incident and to provide counselling to the affected pupils and teachers.