Education official locked up in stinky school toilets

2017-03-17 22:44
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Cape Town - A school governing body and parents' anger about conditions at a Strand school has resulted in the principal and a Western Cape education department official being locked in "smelly toilets", Netwerk24 reported.

SGB chairperson at the Solomon Qatyana Primary School, one P Makhubela (she didn't want to give her name), said they had been trying to get decent ablution facilities for the school for years, but to no avail.

"The school consists of containers which were placed here in 2005. They are in a terrible state. We can only use two toilets for boys and girls because everything is broken and smells disgusting."

She said the department had promised that they would get a school building in 2018.

"However, in February they announced building plans for 2020."


Education spokesperson Paddy Attwell said Makhubela had asked Henk Punt, the department's circuit manager, to have a look at the toilets.

On Tuesday, when he and the principal, Nokwazi Mniki, were inside, Makhubela closed the door and locked them inside.

Pupils apparently protested outside the toilets.

"Punt was inside the toilets from 11:40 to 13:22. Then he was taken to the staff room against his will and held there until 15:00," Attwell said.

He said Punt had complained all the time that he wasn't feeling well, but the SGB ignored him.

"They kept on making demands and trying to negotiate with him. One of the conditions for his release was to bring forward the 2020 building plans to 2017. He couldn't do that because he doesn't have the authority."

Attwell said they were aware of conditions at the school.

"A contractor has already been appointed to repair the toilets and to do other repairs. That will cost R210 000."

About R201 000 had been budgeted for maintenance.

Punt laid a criminal charge and the department would investigate as well, Attwell said.
Makhubela said they were still in talks with the department to prioritise building plans for the school and that a meeting would be held on Monday.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  protests

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