Gauteng education dept denies claims of ceiling collapse at Noordgesig school

2018-02-28 21:28
Ambulances outside Noordgesig School, where parents claimed a ceiling collapsed on pupils. The Gauteng education department has denied the collapse, saying the allegations relate to SGB politics. (Supplied)

Ambulances outside Noordgesig School, where parents claimed a ceiling collapsed on pupils. The Gauteng education department has denied the collapse, saying the allegations relate to SGB politics. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – The Gauteng Department of Education denies claims made by members of the Noordgesig Concerned Parents Community Forum (NCPCF) that a classroom ceiling collapsed on pupils of Noordgesig Primary School in Soweto on Wednesday.

Members of the NCPCF claimed that children had to go to the Noordgesig local clinic after part of a classroom ceiling fell on pupils.

"Part of a ceiling fell on the kids in the classroom. More than six children are at the Noordgesig clinic right now," said NCPCF chairperson Anthony Williams.

NCPCF member and concerned parent Roseline Harrison told News24 that school children had been streaming into the local clinic since 14:30.

"Some children have blisters and rashes all over their arms and faces. They’re itching all over," said Harrison.

The NCPCF believed the children had been locked up in a classroom while a teacher ran errands, only to have the ceiling collapse and release a skin irritant.

Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona vehemently denied the allegations.

"No ceiling fell. They are circulating pictures of a ceiling that fell many moons ago," said Mabona.

"People who want to be in the school governing body are peddling these stories.

"They want to be seen as if they are doing something."

News24 had been shown photos of a panel missing from a ceiling, without any dust or panels on the floor, as well as photos of crying children and children in a line in front of an ambulance.

There has been a strained relationship between the education department and members of the Noordgesig community since protests against the appointment of a black principal erupted at the end of last year.

Asked about Mabona's response, Harrison said: "We don’t care about the SGB. I am a concerned parent and the current SGB is corrupt."

"They are making it a racist thing, but even the black parents are bringing their children to the clinic for treatment."

The NCPCF added in a statement on Wednesday evening that the department "had declared truth as an enemy" and that litigation was an "automatic next step" to ensure it was held accountable.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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