We still don't know who was behind Vuwani violence - MP

A woman walks on the outskirts of Vuwani as police vehicles are seen patrolling the area. (AFP)
A woman walks on the outskirts of Vuwani as police vehicles are seen patrolling the area. (AFP)

Johannesburg - Security agencies need to find out who was behind the protests in Vuwani that left 29 schools destroyed, a senior MP told News24 on Wednesday.  

"We are not getting to the bottom of who it is," said Lynette Zwane, chairperson of Parliament’s select committee on education and recreation.

"Those people went into the areas, and even residents were being threatened. There is no clarity in terms of who is directly involved."

The committee would demand further action and clarity from law enforcement agencies in Vuwani, Limpopo.

"We were shocked by behaviour we thought was from the citizens," Zwane said.

The committee was visiting the area on Wednesday to see schools affected by the destruction. It was meeting basic education department officials, traditional leaders and police to determine the impact of various interventions, and to get an update on catch-up plans and pupils’ readiness to write year-end examinations.

Zwane said she hoped that the basic education department’s interviews would enable pupils to conclude the academic year successfully. 

She said she would recommend that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga order the building of additional temporary classrooms and the provision of more learning materials.

"We also need to provide support to teachers and learners psychologically, if we are going to normalise this situation. I am planning to bring this up in Parliament and with the minister."

Preparation matric exams had been postponed at schools affected by violent protests earlier this year.

Pupils would write their preparation exams on September 1, and not on August 22, Parliament's Basic Education Portfolio Committee heard on Tuesday.

Almost 53 000 pupils were affected by protests that started in early May and ended on August 10. A total of 42 000 children were unable to write their mid-year exams.

Local residents were dissatisfied with the rezoning of the area by the Municipal Demarcation Board earlier this year. They were incorporated into the Malamulele municpality, but wanted to return to the Makhado municipality.

Police made 21 arrests in the weeks following the attacks. Some of those arrested included municipal councillors. It was still unclear who was behind the arson attacks. 


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