SA 'lollipop man' in Scotland told to stop high-fives

2015-02-27 13:44
Nkosana Mdikane (Facebook)

Nkosana Mdikane (Facebook)

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Cape Town - A South African man working in Scotland as a school crossing patroller has been ordered to stop "high-fiving" children as they cross the road to school.

A school crossing patroller is commonly known as a lollipop man due to the large circular sign on a pole that they hold up to allow children to cross a road safely.

Nkosana Mdikane, 74, became known as "Scotland's happiest lollipop man" because he sang and danced while working, the BBC reported.

However, the West Dumbartonshire Council ordered him to stop giving out high-fives due to safety fears.

The council said in a statement that all patrollers are instructed to remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards while children cross the road. This ensures that they are seen and also provide a barrier between pupils and traffic.

The council added that this is national guidance and the policy has been in place for a number of years.

However, parents have started a Facebook campaign and online petition to try and reverse the move, questioning the council's logic.

The petition reads: "Our Lollipop man has been told to stop giving our kids a high five when they are crossing the road to school. The kids are so disappointed with this decision. He encourages our kids to cross with him, they never cross outwith (sic) the crossing. The traffic is always stopped. A few years ago he was in the press as Scotland's Happiest Lollipop Man! We want West Dunbartonshire Council to reverse this stupid decision."

Meanwhile, Mdikane said he was baffled by the council's decision and was "quite down" about it. When he asked the council what he was doing wrong he was told he was not concentrating on the traffic.

He told the BBC he followed the rules, and has stopped high-fiving.

Mdikane became a local celebrity due to his singing and dancing, with some drivers even taking detours to watch his dance routines.

According to the Daily Mail, Mdikane moved to Scotland with his wife, Zoli, a nurse, in 2003 and worked as a delivery driver and chauffer before retiring. He found retirement frustrating and lonely so when he heard about the lollipop man job in 2013 he applied for it. It's the best job he's ever had, he told the newspaper.

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