Cosatu lays charge against Zille for school accident

2015-07-24 18:19
DA leader Helen Zille. (Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24)

DA leader Helen Zille. (Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24) ((Bongiwe Gumede, Foto24))

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Cape Town - Cosatu has laid a charge of criminal negligence against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille over an accident at a school in Delft that left two pupils injured.

Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the federation visited the Sunray Primary School on Friday, following an accident earlier this week.

"A window of the school building fell out of the structure and injured two seven-year-old learners. The one had to get eight stitches for the cut on his head.

"This school is badly dilapidated and in a dangerous state of disrepair," he said in a statement.

Zille told News24 she was very sorry to hear about the injured children.

"But as usual, Tony Ehrenreich is dealing with a very unfortunate accident by political posturing, which is hardly helpful."

Ehrenreich claimed the poor condition of the school was brought to the attention of the provincial education department, who did nothing. The provincial education department has, however, denied this.

"Upon Cosatu’s visit today [Friday], we were shocked at the state of the school, when Zille pledges millions of rands for internet facilities to the fancy schools and does nothing for the poorer schools," he said.

"The school also has asbestos in the walls, which can lead to asbestosis of the lungs in the learners, but the... [education department] does nothing to fix this.

"Cosatu has accordingly laid a charge of criminal negligence against Premier Zille for the manner in which they are treating the learners."

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, told News24: "The ministry have not received any reports of a learner being injured, but will investigate urgently."

She said the department had been working hard over the past five years to address infrastructure issues.

"[The department]... have replaced 33 schools over the last four years and 24 are scheduled to be completed this financial year," Shelver said.

"Sunray Primary School is currently down for replacement... to the value of R45m. The appointment of consultants are imminent and design documentation should be completed in this financial year."

She said construction was expected to commence in 2016.

Read more on:    education department  |  cosatu  |  debbie schafer  |  helen zille  |  tony ehrenreich  |  cape town  |  education

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