Dispute over traditional leader disrupts schools in KZN Midlands

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Mcoseleli Secondary School in Mkhambathini was locked on Monday and TuesdayPHOTO:
Mcoseleli Secondary School in Mkhambathini was locked on Monday and TuesdayPHOTO:

Plans for KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu to visit two schools in Mkhambathini, near Pietermaritzburg, collapsed after disgruntled community members allegedly locked the gates on Tuesday.

They were demanding the reinstatement of their chief, Sikhosiphi Mdluli, who was stripped of his powers by the KZN provincial government in November 2020.

Mshengu was planning to visit Mcoseleli and Gcina high schools to engage all stakeholders after members of waring factions threatened to disrupt the educational facilities in the KwaNyavu area.

“We have been informed that the local traditional leadership has a dispute with the KZN government. Notably, the dispute has nothing to do with education and yet some community members have chosen to use schools as a soft targets and a bargaining tool,” said Mshengu ahead of his visit.

He said the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal appreciated that communities were free to engage in protest action but could intimidate and prevent pupils from going to school.

Sources told The Witness that operations at several schools around the KwaNyavu were disrupted on Monday and Tuesday after teachers were locked outside the gates.

When The Witness visited Mcoseleli and Gcina high school on Tuesday morning, teachers were waiting outside the gates. There were groups of community members watching them from the distance. There was also police presence in the vicinity.

The dispute over Mdluli’s chieftaincy also disrupted the November municipal polls after some of his supporters locked the voting stations and the day of the elections.

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