Pupils smash 447 windows

2008-05-20 00:00

A group of 63 pupils, who were detained by police after damaging property at Mbusi High on Monday, made a brief appearance in the Ezinqoleni Magistrate’s Court near Port Shepstone yesterday.

Superintendent Zandra Wiid said the pupils had gone on rampage after a dispute with the principal over computers in the school, which were not being utilised.

Failing to get a satisfactory answer as to why they could not use the computers, the pupils allegedly demolished 447 windows, burning books in the library and damaging a car.

The group, who appeared in court facing charges of public violence, was made up of 37 girls and 26 boys aged 16 to 20. The case was remanded until July 8.

The Education Department yesterday condemned the act as “unnecessary”.

Spokeswoman Mbali Thusi said there are structures, such as the Learners’ Representative Council (LRC), in place that allows pupils to communicate their grievances.

“The LRC can report the learners’ grievances to the school or to the district office. We have opened doors for learners to direct their problems, even to the head of department or the MEC. So, we are concerned … by the violent behaviour displayed at the school.”

Thusi said violence is never the answer, but perpetuates more problems, as is the case at Mbusi High, which now has no windows.

“Educators are demoralised, and teaching is disturbed, which is stealing a lot of learning time … We condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.”

The school governing body met until late yesterday and parents will be called tomorrow to address the matter. Thusi said school will resume and investigations will be carried out to establish the problem surrounding computers.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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