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School blaze - police probe case of arson

By unknown | May 15, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Wilson Dzebu and Elijar Mushiana

Wilson Dzebu and Elijar Mushiana

Pupils and teachers at a Limpopo high school stared in disbelief as two classrooms and the staff room were destroyed in a fire that caused damage estimated at R1,5million at the weekend.

Nelson Rokho, principal of The Milton Mpfumedzeni High School in Lukalo village near Thohoyandou, said the blaze destroyed books, more than 50 desks, 12 tables, 30 chairs, a TV set, a video machine and three computers.

The school, which has 910 pupils, already had a serious shortage of classrooms, with a third of its pupils - more than 300 - still learning under trees.

Rokho suspects someone might have been responsible for setting the fire, which started early on Friday morning.

He said the matter was being investigated by the police.

Rokho said: "I received a call at about 5am that the school was on fire and I immediately rushed there to investigate."

He said he then called emergency services to extinguish the fire.

"They did a wonderful job because the fire could have destroyed the whole school," he said.

Nthambeleni Tshikukuvhe, a grade 12 pupil, said he was at the school on the day of the incident.

"I heard footsteps in the school yard. I did not take it seriously at first, but I became suspicious when I noticed a terrible smell of smoke.

"I could not believe my eyes when I went out to investigate and found that the school was on fire. I then called the principal who summoned the police and fire fighters," Tshikukuvhe said.

Superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi of the Limpopo police said they were investigating a case of arson.

He appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact the police.


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