MEC to intervene in running of private schools

2013-01-14 13:26

Mpumalanga education MEC Reginah Mhaule will be finalising consultations that will see her regulating the running of private schools for the first time.

The regulations were published in the government gazette last year, and any school that does not comply with the South African Schools Act and the National Education Policy Act will have its registration withdrawn and will be shut down.

Mhaule’s hands were completely tied even to intervene in private schools that still use corporal punishment.

“We’re finalising the consultations on these regulations,” said provincial education spokesperson Jasper Zwane.

“The MEC will now be able to intervene when we receive reports that these schools are using corporal punishment. We’re (currently) only able to advise parents to report such incidents to the police,” he added.

The department was inundated with complaints of pupils that were beaten up at the infamous Cefups Academy last year.

Next month, three Cefups boarding masters – Jaconia Nkosi (44), Henry Mphokane (30) and Nhlanhla Mazibuko (44) – will be sentenced for assaulting a pupil and her three cousins in April.

They sjamboked, punched and threw stones, shoes and bricks at the youngsters who were attending a beauty pageant at the school.

Musa Nkambule (18), Tsholofelo Matabane (19), Hawick Miquen (21) and Tshepo Ndlovu (18) angered the boarding masters when Grade 11 pupil Nothando Kenny (17) went out of the hall to speak to them.

In September, three parents and their children anonymously spoke to City Press about the assaults.

A 16-year-old pupil laid assault charges against two boarding masters after they allegedly lashed him with a sjambok for going to a shopping mall without permission in August.

He was treated at the Nelspruit Medi-Clinic and charges were laid at the Nelspruit police station.

A 19-year-old pupil was allegedly beaten up and expelled in May because his mother left him food with the school’s security guards. The teenager’s mother said her son had to hitch-hike about 300km from Nelspruit to home in Secunda.

Another pupil was allegedly sjamboked and expelled in June because a female school mate had photographs on her camera of boys and girls together.

His mother said her son was expelled after she refused to pay a R20 000 fine.

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