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Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Lessons came to a standstill yesterday when pupils at OR Mabotja Secondary School in Makgofe went on the rampage, destroying school property in protest against alleged unfair treatment by teachers.

The situation became tense when the pupils stoned the classrooms, breaking windowpanes and damaging furniture in the school.

Police had to be called in to control the unruly pupils.

Classes had to be abandoned as early as 10am as the pupils vowed not to return.

The pupils accused a teacher of having insulted them, allegedly calling them unprintable names because she was angry at them.

When Sowetan visited the school yesterday, members of the community were gathered at the premises and tried unsuccessfully to convince pupils to return to their classrooms.

A number of classrooms and staff rooms had their windowpanes broken when the angry pupils smashed them with stones.

A large contingent of policemen from Seshego arrived at the school to maintain order.

But police spokesperson Sergeant Mothemane Malefo said they could not do anything because the school principal had not told them to act against the unruly pupils.

"We were only summoned to monitor the situation, but we could not arrest anyone because we need a go-ahead from the school headmaster," said Malefo.

He said they had arrested three "boys" from the school but later released them.

"We did this to calm the volatile situation at the school," he said.

Ndo Mangala, a spokesperson for the provincial department of education, said they were still awaiting a report from the circuit manager before commenting on the matter.

The school is not new to controversy. Two months ago, lessons were disrupted after two male pupils stabbed each other inside the school premises in a dispute during a game of dice.

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