Pupils in court for torching school

2010-04-14 11:44

Malmesbury - Four pupils will appear in the Malmesbury Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, after they allegedly torched three classrooms at their school, complaining they were overcrowded, Cape Town police said.

Police were patrolling the area around Naphakade Secondary School to prevent a repeat of Tuesday's incident, which unfolded after students complained they did not want to share their classrooms with primary school students, said police spokesperson Henry Durant.

"The situation is under control and school was opened this morning," he said. "The schoolchildren are on the premises and are going to their lessons." Western Cape education minister Donald Grant condemned the incident claiming that there were already plans underway to build a new high school in the area.

"The violent actions of the learners were not only unlawful, but wholly unnecessary as the Western Cape education department has prioritised the construction of a new school in the area in our infrastructure plan," he said.

"It is important to emphasise that the construction of a new high school in Malmesbury was always part of our planning and we will not, under any circumstances, be forced by communities to change our infrastructure development plans in response to violent actions.

"We are determined to ensure that the new school opens at the beginning of 2012," Grant said.

The four students, aged 21, 20, 18 and 16, were charged with public violence and arson.