Vuwani pupils, teachers still afraid to return to school - MEC

2016-05-16 18:00
A pupil from the Maligana Secondary School cleans a classroom damaged by arsonists. (Supplied to News24)

A pupil from the Maligana Secondary School cleans a classroom damaged by arsonists. (Supplied to News24)

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Vuwani - Teachers and pupils in Vuwani and surrounding villages were still afraid to return to school because they were being intimidated, Limpopo Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe said on Monday. 

Lessons were expected to resume in the area following a resolution at the weekend between community leaders and the government after two weeks of violent protest.

The chaos in the area follows a decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board to incorporate Vuwani into a new municipality.

Last week saw Vuwani and its surroundings declared a disaster area after 50 schools were either burnt down or vandalised as residents protested following the Limpopo High Court's dismissal of residents' attempts to overturn the decision.

However, pupils and educators who returned to burnt schools on Monday found that the situation remained volatile. 

Kgetjepe said the department was tipped off about threats, which triggered fear among pupils and officials.

"Late yesterday, we received a report of intimidation... [against] management and learners to ensure that they don’t go to school," he said.

Kgetjepe was addressing reporters at Vhafamadi Secondary school, one of more than twenty allegedly burnt by residents.

Some pupils spent Monday cleaning the damaged classrooms and then returned home.

Angelina Mudau, a teacher at Maligana Secondary in Mashau village, said they hoped schooling would resume on Tuesday.

"We were here in the morning, hoping that [we] will start with... business, but there was no plan, [so] we decided to start cleaning," said Mudau.

A Grade 9 pupil said on Monday that it was better to clean up and prepare for teaching to possibly start on Tuesday.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests  |  education  |  crime

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