Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
24 Jan 2018
6:09 am

Lesufi, parents smoke peace pipe

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

It was agreed that pupils at Noordgesig Primary will return to class.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi speaks during a media briefing at Mahlube Secondary School in Mamelodi East on 16 October 2017. The MEC's visit follows an alleged sexual assault of a pupil of the school by one of the school's private security guards. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The Gauteng education department is investigating allegations of financial misconduct and irregular appointments at a school in Soweto which was shut down by violent protests last week.

But after meeting the department yesterday, teaching was set to resume at Noordgesig Primary School after a row between the parents and the department over race and infrastructure led to clashes between protesting parents, community members and police.

The school was one of several around the province which did not begin the year on a good note due to protests over language, overcrowding and corruption, among other grievances.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi finally met the parents yesterday after they again took to the streets to demonstrate.

Parents accused the school’s governing body of mismanaging funds and were up in arms over the appointment of a black teacher at a school situated in a coloured community.

They said the teacher was appointed irregularly, while some parents accused unions of working to discriminate against coloured teachers who had applied for the post of principal and deputy principal.

The parents’ biggest demand was that the asbestos school be replaced, as promised.

After a meeting with Lesufi to voice their demands, parents yesterday agreed to return their children to the school.

Lesufi’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said plans were under way to start construction on the school next month, while other matters would be dealt with urgently.

The MEC would revert back to parents early next month.

“We updated them that a decision had already been taken by the department of infrastructure and confirmed construction would begin in February. We have a plan to demolish all asbestos schools … all of them are going to be rebuilt, but we cannot do it all at once. “It is determined by the budget, social planning and spatial planning. Pupils will be able to remain in school as certain areas of the school will be cordoned off.”

The school was also asked to investigate allegations of sexual assault against one of the school’s groundskeepers.

Lesufi is scheduled to give an update on the school on February 8.

– simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

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