Eastwood pupils granted bail

2017-11-01 06:00
Supporters of the Eastwood pupils. PHOTO: lethiwe makhanya

Supporters of the Eastwood pupils. PHOTO: lethiwe makhanya

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PARENTS and friends rejoiced outside Pietermaritzburg­ Magistrate’s Court on Friday after 18 Eastwood Secondary School pupils­, aged between 18 and 19, were released on bail.

They were arrested last Tuesday and detained after their traditional year-end celebration got out of hand and they allegedly threw condoms filled with urine, faeces and eggs, and stones at teachers and pupils.

They appeared in Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on a charge of public violence last Wednesday. The case was postponed for Monday, October 23, when they would have appeared.

However, the Department of Education intervened and requested that the pupils appear on October 20 due to matric exams starting.

Magistrate Boikhutso released the teenagers on bail of R200 each.

Boikhutso said: “I accept and agree that pupils are still young and what happened might be the result of excitement, but this matter needs to be addressed appropriately by the school, parents and courts.

“Justice needs to be done. People who were affected need to have faith in courts. We call upon parents to assist in addressing this issue and preventing it from happening again,” she said.

Mzwandile Goge, an Eastwood ward committee member, who was in court, told Echo they were pleased the pupils were released.

“Our main concern was that most of them are in matric and would miss exams if they were not released on bail.

“However, we don’t condone this kind of behaviour. It needs to be addressed.

“We want to know the core of this. There has never been such action in our school before - this is the first time. We believe there is something we can do to prevent this from happening again,” he said. He said damage to school property won’t be tolerated.

Bongisiwe Mkhize, the parent of one of the pupils, said she was happy her son is out of prison and will be able to write exams.

“While he was in prison I couldn’t eat or sleep - now I can. I took my last R200 to pay his bail because I wanted him back home.”

The pupils will appear in court on December 14.

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