Motshekga: Grabouw situation not political

2012-03-20 14:18

Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga condemned the continuing violence in Grabouw in the Western Cape on Tuesday.

"It is quite sad that residents are misled into believing that government can eradicate the legacy of inhabitable buildings, lack of resources and overcrowding in our schools immediately," she said in a statement.

Residents burned down the Umyezo wama Apile School last week, demanding additional facilities and an end to overcrowding.

Situation ‘not political’

On Monday, protesters also burned down two ward councillors' homes and a municipal building.

"We are working very hard to deal with the situation at that school. My colleague, Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant, has already identified a location for a new school in the area.

"I, therefore, find it unfortunate for residents to vandalise school property and intimidate learners," Motshekga said.

She denied that the disruption of schooling in Grabouw was politically motivated.

"There is absolutely nothing political about the unrest. At the moment, restoring normal learning and teaching at Umyezo wama Apile School should be our main focus, not politicking," Motshekga said.

Police said 21 people were expected to appear in the Grabouw Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of public violence in which 14 people were injured.

Warrant Officer November Filander said police were monitoring the situation on Tuesday, but that no further violence had been reported.

Blacks against coloureds

The Cape Times reported on Tuesday that black and coloured Grabouw residents were guarding their schools against attack from either side following the protests.

Police had to form a human shield to prevent the groups from entering each other's territories.

A man had been attacked by a group of about 15 people, who hit him with rocks and sticks and stabbed him in the shoulder. The group also injured a second man.

Local resident Margaret le Roux told the newspaper: "A group of people [from] the coloured community have taken up a guarding position at the school to make sure the black people do not come damage it.

"In the black area there are groups of people standing on corners and there are people burning tyres."

Another resident, Monyaduwe Molefe, said blacks were retaliating because they were being attacked.

- SAPA

Read more on:    angie motshekga  |  cape town  |  education  |  protests
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