Western Cape education official ambushed and held hostage in school

2017-03-15 22:50
(File, The Witness)

(File, The Witness)

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Cape Town – A Western Cape education area manager was ambushed and held hostage while visiting Solomon Qatyana Primary School in Lwandle on Tuesday, the provincial education department said.  

"Henk Punt was visiting the principal yesterday [Tuesday] morning when the chair of the governing body, Mrs P Makhubela, insisted that he inspect the school's toilets," the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Makhubela locked the door of the toilet block from the outside once he and the principal had entered."

The department said Punt was kept against his will from 11:40 to 15:00.

"Those holding him would not allow him to leave until he had signed an undertaking to move plans for replacing the school forward from 2020 to 2017," the statement reads.  

Solomon Qatyana Primary School is mainly made up of mobile classrooms.

Contractor appointed

Police confirmed the incident to News24 on Tuesday, saying a case of kidnapping has been opened.

Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said no arrests have been made and investigations were underway.

In the statement, the department said a contractor has been appointed to service the toilets and electrical fittings in the ablution block as well as to repair the floors of some classrooms of the school.

The department allocated R200 993 to the school for day-to-day maintenance in 2016/17, including maintenance and cleaning of the toilets.

It said the school structure had not been replaced as so-called "plankie" schools enjoyed priority.

“Plankie” is a school building made of wood.

"We have to give priority to schools that are in a serious state of disrepair. Some 'plankie' schools are nearly 50 years old," the department said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  crime

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