Rampaging students set classroom on fire

2010-03-11 10:59

Students at the Tshwane South College in Atteridgeville, Pretoria

went on the rampage and set fire to a classroom yesterday, the second day of

protests, the Gauteng education department said.

“A group of learners went on the rampage and burnt a classroom,”

spokesman Charles Phahlane said.

“Police were called in and three people have been arrested for

public violence.”

The students, angry over the alleged mismanagement of the college

and the unavailability of study material, toyi-toyied, threw refuse around the

campus and destroyed property.

“The learning material that learners claim has not arrived has in

fact, arrived and the college was in the process of distributing it. To use the

delay in the arrival of material as an excuse to burn down a class defies


Phahlane said that earlier concerns had been raised about principal

Joe Chiloane.

“The principal has been withdrawn temporarily while we seek to

resolve concerns in an amicable and sustainable manner.

“While we had given ourselves two weeks to resolve these matters,

we have had to extend this period as we would like to secure a lasting

solution,” Phahlane said.

Some lecturers who joined the protesters complained they were being

overlooked for promotions and salary increases.

“We are looking into the reasons behind this unruly behaviour by

learners. If any staff member is found to be behind this action, they will be

dealt with procedurally.”

Police who arrived to attend a meeting to resolve the dispute

between management and students around 9am, were refused access by students,

Inspector Daniel Mavimbela said.

Once they got in nearly all the students on campus decided to

vacate the premises.

Mavimbela said no shots were fired and there was minimal deployment

of police on the campus.

On Tuesday afternoon, aggrieved students locked all gates,

preventing anyone from leaving or entering.


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