Mayor condemns latest arson attack on Limpopo school

2016-09-21 13:02
The aftermath of the arson attack on Humula Secondary School in Mukhomi village, outside Malamulele. (Supplied to News24)

The aftermath of the arson attack on Humula Secondary School in Mukhomi village, outside Malamulele. (Supplied to News24)

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Malamulele – The mayor of the newly-formed Collins Chabane Local Municipality, Joyce Bila, has condemned a recent arson attack on a school that was also targeted last year in a wave of attacks on schools in the area following a demarcation dispute.

Humula Secondary School in Mukhomi village, outside Malamulele, was set on fire on Sunday.

The mayor said the arsonists were destroying the future of the children in the area and making matters worse, as there was already an infrastructure backlog.

"I would like to urge people to stop burning schools as it destroys our children's future. Police must bring perpetrators involved to book," said Bila during her visit to the crime scene. She was accompanied by members of the council's executive committee.

The school was also torched last year in June during political unrest in Vuwani. A school admin block was damaged.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said police were called to the scene in the early hours of Sunday morning and on arrival found three classrooms and a staffroom on fire.

School records destroyed

"Firefighters were summoned and the fire was extinguished. Fire investigators from our forensic division in Pretoria will also visit the scene to assist in the investigation. The motive for the incident is not known and no arrests have been made as yet," said Mojapelo.

Mojapelo said a preliminary investigation indicated that the arsonists targeted school records kept in the building.

Classrooms that were set alight
Classrooms that were set alight at Humula Secondary School in Mukhomi village, outside Malamulele. (Supplied)

"In addition to the structure itself, the fire destroyed records of the school, cupboards, chairs and tables used by educators. The value has not yet been determined."

Limpopo education spokesperson Dr Naledzani Rasila condemned the attack.

"We are so saddened by the burning of the school because this is a time when learners are preparing for their final examinations and we believe that police will do their job and bring the perpetrators to book," Rasila said.

Maria Baloyi, a parent at the school, said, "We are so angry as parents... because our children's future is at that school".

To date, 29 schools have been burned in the Vuwani area and 11 in the Malamulele area.

These acts of arson have been attributed to anger at the merging of the Vuwani, Malamulele and Hlanganani municipalities into one administrative body, the Collins Chabane Local Municipality.

Read more on:    limpopo  |  fires  |  education

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