Anger flares up over too hot classrooms

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Angry pupils, whose schools were demolished to make way for the 2010 World Cup stadium, protested against the prefabricated "temporary" classrooms they have been given.

Pupils from Cyril Clarke Secondary and John Mdluli Primary in Mataffin near Nelspruit accused the authorities of failing to keep their promise to build them proper classrooms.

In 2006 the provincial government bulldozed both schools to make way for the multi-million rand Mbombela Stadium for the 2010 World Cup. The pupils were moved to the prefabricated classrooms.

This week the pupils refused to go to classes, saying the classrooms were too hot and that they were dissatisfied by the education department not yet having appointed a contractor to build the new schools.

The pupils blocked the main entrance to the stadium with school tables and chairs. A temporary classroom and library were set alight.

The police said seven pupils were arrested on the scene.

"These actions are a direct result of the education department's inability to heed the pupils' demands," Democratic Alliance leader Anthony Bernadie said.

He said when South Africa won the contract to host the World Cup and Mbombela was named as a host city, the department had ample time to accommodate all aspects of the building of the Mbombela Stadium.

Nelspruit police spokesman Dawie Pretorious confirmed that seven people were arrested but could not confirm whether or not they were pupils.

Provincial education department spokesman Jasper Zwane said the two schools would be built soon.

"MEC Mmathulare Coleman has said the construction of two schools was top priority and the contractors would be appointed soon," Zwane said.

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