Mob cause matric exam rewrites

2009-11-13 21:13

Johannesburg - A total of 176 pupils had to rewrite their matric physics paper one after exams were disrupted by angry mobs at three high schools in Cape Town on Friday.

Western Cape education spokesperson Bronagh Casey said the schools that were disrupted were Thembelihle High School in Khayelitsha, and the Sinethemba and the Insebenziswano Schools in Philippi.

Their exams were disrupted after a crowd of pupils who were protesting over the possible Lagunya Finishing School being closed, stormed into their classrooms.

"They re-wrote their exams after the protesters dispersed," Casey said.

Pupils injured

On Thursday examinations at Langa Secondary School were disrupted, leaving two pupils injured after police dispersed the crowd with rubber bullets.

Police prevented the Lagunya pupils from entering Kulani Secondary School. They also tried to disrupt exams at Ikamvalethu Secondary and Isilimela Secondary schools.

The Department of Education was considering closing the Lagunya Finishing School, as the current model for schooling in the country did not make provision for finishing schools.

Casey said the public consultation process regarding a decision on whether to close the school was still being finalised and no decision had been taken yet.

'Thuggish behaviour'

Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant said: "We simply cannot tolerate this kind of thuggish behaviour which prejudices the rights of learners writing the most important examinations of their lives.

"After a discussion with the premier, a decision has been taken to seek an urgent interdict against the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) to prevent them from entering or approaching any public ordinary school or designated exam centre."

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that police should be merciless against "hooligans".
"This is hooliganism of the highest order and the police should mercilessly crush this act of cowardice," Motshekga said in a statement.

"We can't allow the future of hardworking learners to be disrupted by those who believe violence can solve the so-called problems they have.

"The rights of those who want to write exams should be protected at all times and those who derive pleasure in disrupting schools should know that we will unleash the heavy hand of the law to crush their actions."