Charges dropped against Philippi pupils arrested in protest for new school

2017-03-08 16:09
Students from Philippi High marched to the offices of the Department of Education in Mitchells Plain demanding a new school be built. (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

Students from Philippi High marched to the offices of the Department of Education in Mitchells Plain demanding a new school be built. (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - Fifteen Philippi High School pupils were on Wednesday released without appearing in the dock following their arrest for public violence during a protest.

The youths were arrested on Tuesday in Heinz Park as they protested against being taught in shipping containers and a lack of infrastructure.

The teenagers were held at Nyanga police station on Tuesday night, and eight minors were released in accordance with the Child Justice Act.

The remaining seven spent the night behind bars and were released prior to appearing in the Athlone Magistrate's Court on Wednesday morning after negotiations with the State, the pupils' lawyer Lufuno Musetsho said.

GroundUp reported that about 150 pupils on Monday marched to the metro south education district office, demanding that a new school they say was promised to them be built.

Traffic on New Eisleben Road was blocked off with rocks and debris and police reportedly fired at least one stun grenade to disperse the group on Monday. 

School in design phase

A pupil told GroundUp the shipping containers they were taught in were hot in summer and cold in winter.

Another said the department had promised to build a school in two years, but there was no sign of it.

Protests continued on Tuesday, resulting in the pupils' arrests.

Education department spokesperson Jessica Shelver on Wednesday told News24 the planned school was currently in the design phase.

Based on the current budget allocation, it should go into construction in the 2017/2018 financial year, she confirmed.

"It normally takes about 18 months to two years to build a new school once a contractor has moved onto site," Shelver said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  protests

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