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River spill leads to boycott

By unknown | Feb 08, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Teachers at Mankele village, in Penge outside Burgersfort, have vowed not to return to classes until the overflowing Lepelle River has subsided.

Community spokesman Isaiah Maphori said yesterday teachers in the area had stopped going to school two weeks ago because the river was overflowing. He claimed that pupils were now in danger of losing out on their studies.

"Teachers have told us they would rather report at the local circuit office than risk their lives crossing the river using the cable. We cannot challenge their decision because we cannot guarantee their safety," he said.

Andries Manaso, the principal of Segashife Secondary School in the area, confirmed yesterday that teachers were reporting to the education department's circuit offices until the problem had been resolved.

It seems problems that residents of this Limpopo village have experienced since being marooned by the flooded river are far from over.

The villagers have been forced to rely on a makeshift cable wire carrier to cross from one side of the river to the other.

A 27-year-old man allegedly fell into the river two weeks ago after complaining of dizziness while on board the carrier.

Sonnyboy Mokgotho has allegedly never been seen since. Several attempts to trace his body have so far been unsuccessful.

John Mokgotho, Sonnyboy's brother, said the family would hold a memorial service in the village today. He said they would go ahead despite the fact that his brother's body had still not been found.

Residents told Sowetan that their plea to the Greater Tubatse Municipality to construct a road and bridge over the river to help Mankele villagers had been unsuccessful.

Municipal manager Simon Malepeng said they had started lobbying for funds to build a road and bridge leading to the village.


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