Protests ‘destroying children’s right to education’

2012-08-30 14:22

The violent protests in Northern Cape that caused 41 schools to close were condemned by acting Premier Grizelda Cjiekella.

“No person can have an honest intention or interest in your life by destroying children’s right to enjoy an education,” she said in a statement today.

The basic education department said earlier that 41 schools in the province would remain closed due to high levels of intimidation.

Basic education department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said yesterday that police needed to stabilise the situation before schools could be re-opened.

He said 41 of the 65 schools in the Johan Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality, in which Kuruman is situated, had been closed since June. Three of these schools have been burnt down and 24 reopened.

Cjiekella said these violent protests were taking place under the guise of service delivery issues.

“This specific region has, in fact, over the past years received preferential treatment insofar as service delivery is concerned.”
Among the main reasons for protests in these areas was a demand for access roads.

“For the past five years, road projects within this district have been done at a cost in excess of R500 million, and it is still ongoing.”
Work on the roads had come to a halt due to the protests.

“The road worker-teams are afraid to do their daily job due to intimidation from the community.”

Protesters had now gone as far as destroying local government and business infrastructure.

“This is being done by the very same people who claim that the government is doing nothing to resolve their grievances and that there is no service delivery.”

The DA laid criminal charges at the Transvaal Road police station in Kimberley today against those preventing pupils from attending Northern Cape schools.

“Our learners must be able to leave their homes to attend school and have their human right to basic education protected. The government and police must get into the area and clean house,” DA parliamentarian Annette Lovemore said in a statement.


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