MEC brings in musician, pastors to mediate in Roodepoort school crisis

2015-08-20 09:35
EFF members show their support for parents at the troubled Roodepoort Primary School. Picture: Christopher Moagi/Daily Sun

EFF members show their support for parents at the troubled Roodepoort Primary School. Picture: Christopher Moagi/Daily Sun

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2015-08-18 13:16

Tensions remained high outside Roodepoort Primary school after Tuesday’s chaos had subsided. Watch. WATCH

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Johannesburg - Mediation efforts to return Roodepoort Primary School to normality will get under way on Thursday morning in Florida.

On Wednesday night Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi unveiled a mediation team, and tasked them with consulting all affected parties and recommending a solution in two days.

The team included Unicef ambassador and songstress Yvonne Chaka Chaka, reverends Gift Moerane and Paul Verryn, Bishop Mosa Sono, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, and representatives from the office of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

Of the consultation process Moerane, who chairs the team, said: “It should be as inclusive as possible. No one should be left out. We want to see our kids back in the classroom. We are not going to allow any grouping, even the department, to influence the process. We are an independent team.”

Reverend Molefe Tsele, former secretary of the South African Council of Churches, said the department was not imposing the mediating team on the community of Davidsonville.

“If the community sees a deficit, they could suggest more people. We are seized with the task of mediating and we are open-minded. We are not inclined to anything that happened before. The terms of reference are to resolve the impasse. We have to come up with a solution by Saturday, and nobody should say they were never heard.”

The team, he said, would advise Lesufi on how to proceed on matters that may not be resolved in two days.

Lesufi said: “We don’t want to postpone the future of the children by an hour, minute or second. Let there be no undue influence. Let’s allow the team to do its work. This team is independent of political parties. Political parties are not part of the process and we are accountable to parents.”

The school has been closed since Monday. Gauteng Premier David Makhura shut its doors after community members insisted that teaching and learning would not continue until Principal Nomathemba Molefe and her two deputies were removed.

The school has been plagued by problems, which erupted about a year ago.

The community, led by the Davidson Community Forum, argued that the appointment of Molefe and her two deputies was irregular.

Lesufi had appointed two independent companies to investigate the appointments as well as allegations of financial mismanagement. The forensic investigations cleared the appointments and also found no evidence of corruption.

But the community insisted that Molefe and her two deputies should go, and raised issues of racism.

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  education

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