North West education official held hostage for five hours by pupils
Boitumelo Tshehle | 2017-05-30 17:53:35.0
An empty classroom. File photo.
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock
Pupils from Phiri Secondary School in Ventersdorp in the North West held a provincial education official hostage for five hours on Tuesday after they were told that they might have to learn under trees or in an open field.
This was after a private company owner told the School Governing Body‚ Communal Property Association members and the school principal in a meeting that he needed his mobile classrooms back.
The company owner‚ who did not want his name mentioned‚ said he donated the mobile classrooms to the North West department of education but now needs some of them back.
He said he can only take the administration block‚ toilets and kitchen as he saw that the school was in need of the classes.
SGB members refused to release the mobile classrooms and told him that they thought the classes belonged to the education department.
SGB chairwoman Blacky Melado said they needed answers. “We want the department to tell us who owns these mobile classrooms‚” she said.
She said if the company owner takes away his mobile classrooms‚ 374 children will be left stranded.
Education spokesman Freddy Sepeng pleaded with parents and pupils to exercise patience. “We know that they were promised a school in 2014‚ the department of public works is busy with that‚ they must just be patient‚” he said.
Public works spokesman George Madoda said he was going to gather facts. The education official was released after the SGB were told that senior officials from the department will address them on Wednesday.