The first day of school was off to a dramatic start at Khutlo-Tharo Secondary School in Sebokeng on Wednesday as a fire gutted the school’s administration block.
According to Emfuleni Local Municipality fire and rescue spokesperson Stanley Gaba, firefighters are on the scene battling the blaze.
Gaba says a call from a community member alerting emergency services to the fire was received at around 3am.
“There is a school, Khutlo-Tharo Secondary, that has caught fire in the admin block. I am rushing to the scene to get details. We will issue a statement on further information later,” Gaba said.
Simon Nwamba, a journalist at the scene, told News24 that only the administration block was affected. Nwamba says community members gathered at the scene, witnessing the fire rage.
While it’s unclear what sparked the blaze, concerned parents and community members have questioned whether they may be dealing with a case of arson.
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) January 15, 2020
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, along with Premier David Makhura, are expected to hand over the newly-renovated Noordgesig Primary School in Diepkloof on Wednesday morning.
Around 7am, pupils, dressed in their new uniforms, stood helplessly outside the school gates hoping to get answers from their teachers. Some were accompanied by their parents. They were told to go home.
By 8am, many pupils continued to mill around outside the school, watching as police forensic experts combed the scene, gathering clues as to what could have happened.