Pupils and teachers return after three weeks of disruption
It was back to school for the first time in three weeks yesterday for 800 pupils and 25 teachers at Qantayi Secondary School, in Port Dunford, near Richards Bay on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.
The pupils signed a peace pledge on Tuesday in which they promised not to disrupt teaching at the school again.
Last week KwaZulu-Natal's MEC for education, Ina Cronje, appointed a high-level team to investigate the outbreak of violence at the school and find lasting solutions to ensure the safety of its teachers.
Pupils had assaulted teachers and stoned their cars.
The trouble started when the school principal turned away taxis hired to take pupils to a sports event at another school.
The principal said the taxis could return to take the pupils to the event after school.
The pupils went on the rampage. They assaulted the principal, vandalised school property and stoned teachers' cars.
The police are guarding the school and will remain there until the end of next week.
Last week 23 of the 25 teachers, fearing for their safety, applied for immediate transfer to other schools.
A spokesman for the National Teachers' Union, Musa Gumede, said yesterday that though all appeared to be well at the school the true picture would not emerge until the police had left.
"We are not convinced about the safety of our teachers.
"We think that the presence of police at the school is what is needed," he said.
The education MEC, Cronje, condemned the pupils.
" We strongly condemn what the children have done.
"People must know that there are consequences to their actions. The same applies here.
"Serious crimes have been committed and the police are dealing with that."