Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
RW Fick Senior Secondary School pupils do not only loiter at the Highgate Mall in Johannesburg but they use the toilets for bonking.
This happens during school periods.
Sowetan spotted more than 20 pupils in full school uniforms at about 9am yesterday playing games while others were window shopping.
Highgate management say the pupils are a menace, disrespectful "and do disgusting things in the toilets". They usually arrive in large numbers.
Pupils said the reason they were not at school was because the gates were locked.
They said they milled around in the mall for as long as they could to buy time because they could not go home early.
"Our parents do not know we are not at school. We wait until the school is out," said one boy.
He said he lived far away and used public transport to come to school.
School deputy principal who refused to give his name admitted that late-comers were locked out of the school gates.
"Learners deliberately come late to school so that they would find the gates locked and then they go to the mall to do their own things," he said.
He said they lock the gates at 8am to avoid disruption by late- comers.
"We also do it to instil discipline in our learners. We cannot allow a situation where pupils would come in and out of school as they please."
Catherine Moyo, manager of the cleaning staff at the mall, said that what the reporter saw was nothing compared to what they dealt with daily.
"The school children use the toilets to indulge in sexual intercourse. Our cleaners pick up used condoms almost everyday," she said.
Moyo said the problem has been going on for years and they had contacted the school about it but nothing has happened.
"I do not understand if the school and parents of these kids care. But one thing for sure their future is being wasted."
Gauteng education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said if the school was implementing the decision taken by parents, there was nothing wrong with locking the gates.
"Arriving late is not acceptable because it disrupts classes," he said.