Matric dance after-party chaos

2013-06-25 00:00

A DURBAN high school is investigating the role of its pupils and possibly even staff in a matric dance after-party that brought a large section of Manor Gardens to a standstill on Friday night.

Over 1 000 matrics from several Durban schools turned a residential home and neighbourhood in Queen Elizabeth Road into a massive party house for nearly eight hours. Taxis and buses ferried in the teens, eventually congesting the road and bringing the neighbourhood to a complete standstill between 11 pm and 4 am on Saturday morning.

Brettonwood High School matrics have been fingered in instigating the party, although this cannot be verified. It is alleged a school vehicle was even used in an unofficial capacity to transport goods, such as a sound system, to the house. The school had held its matric dance at Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga on Friday evening.

School principal Mohsin Jhetam said the role the school’s pupils played in the after-party would be investigated.

“We only have 100 matrics and I know not all of them attended the party. We will make inquiries into the role of our pupils or anyone else connected to the school and if necessary take corrective action. The school had no knowledge nor was it a part of the party. We had staff at the official dance only,” said Jhetam.

Professor Johann van den Berg, chairperson of the Manor Gardens police sub-forum, called the party a “real humdinger”.

“The police were called and did arrive, but there were just far too many people for them to react efficiently. In the future we will just need to keep closer tabs on house parties. We aren’t against them. However, we need to not let it get out of hand like this one and react a lot sooner,” said Van den Berg.

Party house homeowner Annette Makhanya, who leases out the home, said when she was made aware of the party she “ordered” the tenants to clean the house and the neighbourhood. The house is a commune with the majority of the tenants being pupils at Brettonwood.

“There were five schools, I am told, that were present at the party and they were from Pinetown, Clermont and Umlazi as well as Brettonwood. Once the street had been adequately cleaned under my supervision I evicted two residents immediately. I watched them pack their bags and leave,” said Makhanya.

She said the majority of the tenants at her home are pupils at Brettonwood “whose parents she knows” while the two evicted were university students. She said the university students “canvassed the schools” to use the house for the party, for a fee.

A party house resident who would not give his name confirmed the eviction of two tenants.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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