I didn’t come here to punish anyone - Lesufi

2017-01-12 14:52
Panyaza Lesufi  (Lerato Sejake, News24)

Panyaza Lesufi (Lerato Sejake, News24)

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Pretoria - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday said he had not come to Overkruin High School to punish anyone.

"I am coming here to ensure that children are in class learning, which to me is very important," Lesufi said in the school hall on Thursday morning.

This was after a court bid by two Pretoria schools, to prevent the Gauteng education department from enrolling more pupils than they could handle, was struck off the urgent roll of the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The court referred the matter back to the Overkruin and Montana high schools, and the department, to investigate the merits of the case.

"The court has allowed us an opportunity to deal with this matter, but I still believe that there was no need to involve courts in matters of admission. We are adults; we can persuade each other and resolve issues," he said.

Lesufi said he would meet with the School Governing Body (SGB) and management of the two schools to hear their cases, in a bid to resolve the matter. He said he wanted to provide support.

On Wednesday, Federation of Governing Bodies for South Africa Schools (Fefsas) CEO Paul Colditz told News24 that Montana had a capacity for 245 pupils, but 340 had been enrolled. Overkruin had space for 250 pupils, but 298 had been enrolled.

"This will always be a problem until the Gauteng department makes it their number one priority to create more schools," Colditz said.

READ: Don't panic, we will place your children - Lesufi, Makhura assure parents

'No child will be chased away'

He said they could not overload the schools immediately, but that they had to agree on a process.

"We need to find out how pupils want to come in and which subjects the school can accommodate."

Lesufi said the process needed to be completed by the end of January.

He said that many pupils trusted his leadership.

"The mere fact that pupils want to come to Gauteng is that they believe in my leadership. No child will be chased away. We will try our best to accommodate everyone."

He said, of the 40 000 parents who were on the waiting list for places at schools, about 50 of them would be placed at Overkruin.

"We will continue to offload [place students] across the province. We will have an extra class starting today and we will deal with other challenges when I deal with the SGB tomorrow [Friday]."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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