Rietondale High School in Pretoria was vandalised over the weekend, just weeks after it underwent a name change, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi revealed on Monday.
“We changed the name of Hoërskool HF Verwoerd to Rietondale High School last month.
“Over the weekend the school and the new name were vandalised,” Lesufi said in a tweet.
The Gauteng Department of Education has expressed concern over the incident.
“The school was just renamed. We are saddened that you have vandalism at this school and we understand that the vandalism continues, so we just want to caution people that are doing this to stop because we are not going to stop from transforming our school environment.
“We have already opened a case of vandalism and hope that the investigation will be done,” spokesperson Steve Mabona said on Monday.
Lesufi approved the renaming of Hoërskool HF Verwoerd in Pretoria to Rietondale Secondary School in May, saying that it was his “mission in this world to reverse everything this man called Verwoerd has done to our education system. Others names like Jan Smuts will also fall”.
The school was named after Verwoerd, who was National Party leader and the last prime minister of the Union of South Africa between 1958 an 1966.
Verwoerd, who was dubbed the “architect of apartheid”, introduced the system of Bantu Education.
Former principal at the school, Hennie Du Toit, previously told News24 that the process of changing the name was nothing new, as it has been going on for years.
“Name changes are not new for Hendrik Verwoerd High School… it had a couple of changes throughout these years,” he said.He said the school started off as Junior Sekondêre Skool, but its name was later changed to Michael Brink High School.