TEACHERS AND PUPILS SUPPORT EXPULSION OF 'TEACHER THIEF'
Teachers at a Mpumalanga school are happy that a colleague has been kicked out of the area, saying this move was long overdue.
Teachers, together with pupils at Khamane Senior Secondary School, said Patrick Mhlanga's expulsion from Marapyane village was supposed to "have happened a long time ago because he is a thief".
Together with his twin brother, Sfiso, Mhlanga was forced into "exile" by angry villagers on Sunday.
The siblings have been accused of having a hand in the disappearance of several head of cattle from the village.
"Police saved him [Patrick Mhlanga] several times after the community complained about his involvement in stock theft. It is enough," said a teacher who wished to remain anonymous.
"This has tarnished our image as teachers. It has undone all the good things some of us have been doing in this village.
"Now we understand why the villagers took the law into their own hands," he said.
Some pupils also expressed joy at Mhlanga's expulsion. They claimed he was a bad teacher who still used corporal punishment.
"He and the principal beat us up almost every day. We were thrilled when the news of his expulsion came through," said a pupil who also refused to divulge his name.
But other pupils disagreed with the expulsion, claiming they would lose a good teacher if Mhlanga is ultimately driven out of the village permanently.
The school principal refused to speak to Sowetan when we approached him about the allegations. He demanded to be left alone. Provincial education department spokesman Jasper Zwane said his department was awaiting a report from the Marapyane circuit office. Zwane said his department would only comment after receiving this report.