Roodepoort task team finalises report on school

2015-08-31 16:14
(Ahmed Areff, News24)

(Ahmed Areff, News24)

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Johannesburg - An independent mediation task team has completed its report into the troubled Roodepoort Primary School, the Gauteng education department said on Monday.

"The mediation team has finalised and submitted its report with recommendations. These should be effected by Friday," education spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane said.

The school, which has been mired in allegations of corruption and racism, was temporarily closed just over two weeks ago.

It was also the site of several violent clashes between residents and the police.

In the interim, some pupils were moved to Lufhereng Primary School in Soweto.

It was unclear on Monday afternoon whether the school would be reopened this week.

The mediation team was appointed to find solutions to problems at the school and heard submissions from various relevant organisations and residents.

Parents and residents of Davidsonville, where the school is, claimed the appointment of the principal and her two deputies was irregular and two reports, one clearing their appointments and another by auditing firm KPMG clearing them of financial mismanagement, were incorrect.

Earlier on Monday, Davidsonville Community Forum members threatened to forcibly re-open the school and gave some of the pupils gathered outside in their purple uniforms a bolt cutter to cut the chain on the gate, before taking away the tool.

'Built by the community'

The forum's spokesperson Ronald Dyers later said pupils who had not gone to that school in Soweto would be taken on Monday to nearby "church buildings" for "intermediary education".

"We hope we can get a possible solution to the problem. If [Roodepoort Primary] is not open tomorrow [Tuesday], we will decide on the next step," he said.

"This school was built by the community and it is basically unfair of [the] government, the premier and the MEC to close this school unilaterally without consulting the community."

He said the community was still committed to working with a mediation task team appointed by the Gauteng department of education to find solutions.

"We will be meeting a delegation from the local [ANC] as well as a delegation from the neighbouring community [on Monday]," he said.

"We hope in these endeavours we can find a solution to present to the mediation team."

Residents and parents have repeatedly denied claims they were racist for wanting the principal, who is black, to vacate her position.

The mediation team included Reverend Gift Moerane from the South African Council of Churches, Bishop Paul Verryn, United Nation Childred's Rights and Emergency Relief Organisation (Unicef) goodwill ambassador and singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka, former director general of the Presidency Reverend Frank Chikane and representatives from the office of the public protector and from the Ahmed Kathrada foundation.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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