Parents demand school fees back
The school is in turmoil - it does not have electricity, the ceiling is damaged, teachers are not attending classes and toilets are blocked as there is no water
ANGRY parents in Oukasie in Brits, North West, marched to Odi Primary School to demand their money back after accusing staff and the principal of embezzling school funds.
The school is in turmoil - it does not have electricity, the ceiling is damaged, teachers are not attending classes and toilets are blocked as there is no water.
The parents are also demanding to be refunded R500 they each paid for a school trip to Durban that never materialised.
School governing body member Doreen Mphela said the school had had more than R200,000 - but now its account only showed R11,000. She said their suspicions started after a cheque to a computer company bounced.
She said district officials from the education department have begun an investigation.
"There was a team from the department that was asked to investigate financial irregularities involving the use of funds in this school," Mphela said.
"In November last year we ordered computers and signed a cheque for R78000, which to our surprise bounced," she said.
Mphela said they then requested bank statements, which showed that the school only had R11,000.
One of the parents, Mpho Makgamathe, said the school was taking them for granted.
"They treat us like fools. I struggled to raise R500 for my child to go on that trip, now they tell us the trip is cancelled. I want my money back," she said.
Ward 13 councillor in Oukasie, Jody Sesudi, said all they wanted was speedy disciplinary action against all involved.
"We just want the head of the department of education, Abe Seakamela, to step in. We are tired of lies," Sesudi said.
He said teachers at the school reported for duty in the morning and then left.
Department of education spokesman Gershwin Chuenyane said the department would "get to the bottom of this".
"It's a violation of our policy and procedures. We will get to the bottom of this problem as investigations are under way," he said.