'No good came out of that school'

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

For former students, the fall of the Soweto-based Ithuteng Trust has "signalled the end of gangsterism and bullying".

Former students that Sowetan spoke to yesterday said the closure of the school "was a welcome relief".

One of them, Simphiwe Ncoguthu, was kidnapped and assaulted by Jackey Maarohanye, Ronnie "Papa Action" Nyakale and Mpho Makate in 2006. The three were given suspended sentences after being found guilty of the charges last year.

"I am happy that the school has finally shut down. Nothing good came out of that school. I am still traumatised from the assault. Its closure is the best thing for the community," said Ncoguthu.

He said even though one of the kidnappers, Lucky Lubada, had apologised to him, the scars of the assault still remained.

Another former student, Tiisetso Crizel, said: "I am shocked that the premises have been vacated, but it is good that Ithuteng is no more. The school was corrupting the children and teaching them the opposite of what their parents had sent them to the school for."

Another student, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the community now wanted Maarohanye to come dismantle the high security walls and school buildings because they posed a crime threat to residents.

"Abandoned buildings are hunting grounds for tsotsis."

She said Maarohanye's tactics of training her pupils to lie about their personal lives to the school's sponsors had led to her downfall.

"We would memorise tear-jerking stories about abuse at home. Sponsors bought that and then poured funds into the school.

"It's better for everyone that we drove her out. The lies and bullying have now left Klipspruit."