Vuwani schools get spruce up from parolees, probationers

2017-01-19 21:23
A pupil from the Maligana Secondary School cleans a classroom in Vuwani after it was damaged by arsonists last year. (Supplied to News24)

A pupil from the Maligana Secondary School cleans a classroom in Vuwani after it was damaged by arsonists last year. (Supplied to News24)

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Polokwane - Parolees and probationers on Thursday joined Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha for a clean-up of schools in Vuwani following last year’s destruction during violent protests.

Alongside traditional leaders who used the opportunity to encourage pupils to focus on their education, Masutha also spoke of the importance of working alongside correctional centres to understand the various programmes offered to offenders which could see them benefiting through offender labour.

Department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga in a statement said parolees, who live in the surrounding communities, have been deployed to various schools to provide physical labour and technical skills. 

“This is part of their rehabilitation, as they give back to their communities by making a positive contribution,” Mhaga explained.

Vuwani schools last year came under attack during protests against a Municipal Demarcation Board decision to incorporate the area into a new municipality, Lim345. 

After being gutted in the protest action, Vhafamadi Secondary School now boasts a new set of classrooms. 

The Department of Correctional Services will “re-work” its courtyard and fence the school.   

“The initiative forms part of a nationwide programme in the rehabilitation of inmates through offender labour, whereby offenders are given an opportunity to correct their wrongdoing by giving back to communities. Pupils from all three schools [Vhafamadi Secondary School, Vhudzani Secondary School and Mphagame Primary School] were further encouraged to focus on their studies, as education is useful ammunition to help South Africa become a better country,” Mhaga said.

The case against six Vuwani community leaders, accused of leading the violent protests, was struck off the roll in the local magistrates court on Monday.

Magistrate Baldwin Ntsane rejected the State’s request for more time to complete investigations, saying police had had enough time and resources to investigate the matter.

The accused included former councillor Gideon Tshavhuyo, and a schoolteacher, who faced charges of arson and malicious damage to property.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  education

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