Rubber bullets fired in Roodepoort school protest - report

2015-02-20 10:27
Parents protest outside Roodepoort Primary School. (<a href="" target="_blank">Avumile, Twitter</a>)

Parents protest outside Roodepoort Primary School. (Avumile, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - Violence has erupted outside Roodepoort Primary School in Johannesburg following protests from parents around alleged racial discrimination at the school.

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Witnesses on the scene claim police fired rubber bullets at those protesting on Friday morning, EWN reported on Twitter.

Police had to intervene after tensions between coloured and black parents reportedly sparked a standoff.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane says the police will be stationed there until tensions calm down at the school.

"Our officials continue to monitor the situation closely. They are stationed at the school until we are satisfied that things have returned to normal," said Sekhonyane.

"Even the police are there today [Friday]."

Parents started protesting at Roodepoort Primary School earlier this week, allegedly demanding a coloured principal. They claimed the process of appointing black principal Nomathemba Molefe was flawed.

Children were prevented from entering the premises and schooling ground to a halt.

'No irregularities'

Sekhonyane said the department had investigated the community's claims last year and found that there were no irregularities in Molefe's appointment.

"[Investigators] found that there was no evidence of the alleged irregularities in the process of appointing the current principal," she said.

On Thursday, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi called an emergency meeting with community members.

"At this meeting it was decided that we should act in the best interests of the children."

Molefe was temporarily removed from the school while the department negotiated with parents.

'The principal must go'

The Star reported on Friday that police had to escort Molefe from the school while parents banged on her car and poured water on it.

They reportedly held placards and chanted, "die hoof moet uit [the principal must go]".

Sekonyane said the school was calm on Friday.

"The reports we are getting are that things are returning to normal. Buses transporting pupils from outside are going back."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education  |  protests  |  racism

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