MEC shuts down troubled Roodepoort school

2015-06-26 13:32
Roodepoort primary school badge. (Jermaine DeKock, Twitter)

Roodepoort primary school badge. (Jermaine DeKock, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - The troubled Roodepoort Primary School has been closed down, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Friday.

"I have closed that school. I closed it on Tuesday. I have served about 14 teachers with disciplinary letters. By today, they must tell me why they should be at the school," Lesufi told reporters at a media briefing held at the education department's offices in Johannesburg.

"There were real issues in that school," he said, adding that he would not tolerate any form of racism.

This was the second time in two months that Lesufi had taken drastic action against the school.

In April, he decided to close it down, but re-opened it several days later.

Protests

The school was the site of several protests, during one of which police fired rubber bullets.

The parents allegedly demanded a coloured principal. They claimed the process of appointing black principal Nomathemba Molefe was flawed.

Later they alleged there was maladministration by the principal and the governing body chair.

Lesufi said at the time that one of the reasons he initially closed the school was because of “shocking intelligence” that residents wanted to burn it down.

On Friday however, Lesufi confirmed that the community had carried out their threat and had petrol bombed the principal's office.

Teachers ‘ganging up’

There was also an issue of disintegration between teachers with some of them "ganging up against each other".

Some of the teachers at the school had asked for permission from Lesufi to be removed from the school premises and rather give classes to their pupils under some trees.

"The children are also no longer listening to the principal," said Lesufi.

He claimed that the learners had heckled the principal and chanted "pay back the money", whenever she tried to address them.

This stemmed from influence the children had received from their parents as they accused the principal of financial mismanagement.

Community march

Lesufi said the issues went beyond the school premises and he had heard reports that the community had plans to march to the police station and the local clinic. They planned to demand the removal of black employees, claiming they took their jobs from them.

With the school term coming to a close on Friday, Lesufi said he would have a plan in place for the pupils of Roodepoort Primary School before the new term commenced.

He said he would be doing some restructuring during the holidays.

Meanwhile, the Curro Roodeplaat Primary School near Pretoria was given one last chance to change its racist ways.

Lesufi said he had decided to suspend his decision to shut down the school after its board vowed to implement change.

Curro had until October to implement the resolutions.

Read more about the incidents at Curro School here.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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