Protesting pupils off the hook

2010-09-14 18:08

Polokwane - Fifty-eight Limpopo pupils who were arrested on Monday for disrupting preliminary exams at three schools in Moletji have appeared briefly in the Seshego Magistrate’s Court.

Warrant Officer Mothemane Malefo of the Seshego Police Station said the pupils, who were facing charges of public violence and malicious damage to property, were cautioned before the charges against them were dropped on Tuesday.

“Most are underage minors, and that is the basis on which they were discharged.

"But the court told them in no uncertain terms that they will be arrested should they commit the same offence again.

"We are monitoring the situation in Moletji and have managed to disrupt mobs of learners who were attempting to damage schools,” said Malefo on Tuesday.

The pupils went on the rampage at OR Mabotja, Molautsi and Monyong secondary schools, smashing windows and destroying school furniture.

It came after a call by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) to scrap the exams because pupils were not adequately prepared after the long holiday to accommodate the FIFA World Cup, as well as the public service strike.

Education MEC Dickson Masemola said the exams would continue regardless of Cosas' threats of disruptions.

"Officials from my department and the police will ensure that examinations are written," he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Motlafela Mojapelo said officers were monitoring the situation at many schools and had not made any new arrests by late Tuesday afternoon.