A safe school is all Gama wants
A young primary school pupil in Mpumalanga begged Premier Thabang Makwetla for a safe school at a people's imbizo.
With tears in her eyes, Nobuhle Gama, 11, a grade 5 pupil at Dunbar Primary School in the Enkaneni squatter camp in Witbank, made her appeal to a provincial and local government entourage.
She was speaking during an outreach programme in a tent on a football field near her school.
After she found out that Makwetla would be at the gathering, Gama decided to take the opportunity to attract his attention.
She joined a long queue of disgruntled residents.
When her turn came, Gama grabbed the microphone and without mincing her words, told Makwetla how terrible the conditions at her school were.
She told the premier, executive mayor Linah Malatji, politicians and officials: "We are not safe at school. We are harassed by criminals who rape and kill children. Please, please help us."
Gama was applauded by the crowd as she left the tent.
When Sowetan caught up with her later, she said pupils were terrified of criminals.
She also said her school had no doors and windows to keep the cold and rain out.
The dusty school has six separate buildings.
Each structure has two to three classrooms made of sheets of corrugated iron, prefab slabs and asbestos panel walls resembling chicken runs.
Makwetla said residents were occupying the land illegally and development could only take place once an area was proclaimed a permanent settlement.