two pupils leave school in fear

AT LEAST two girls have dropped out of matric at the controversial Cefups Academy in Nelspruit because they fear for their lives.

This after opening assault cases against the owner of the school, Simon Mkhantswa, last week.

Lizelle Macedo and Zandile Nkambule yesterday left South Africa for their home country, Swaziland, with Macedo's mother, Thandi Mtshali.

Mtshali told Sowetan that she was "disappointed" with Mkhantswa.

Mkhantswa was accused of assaulting the girls with a sjambok, kicking and using his fists to punish them for allegedly failing to warn him of a looming strike by pupils.

At least three girls opened assault charges against Mkhantswa at the Nelspruit police station on Wednesday last week.

Police went to arrest Mkhantswa last week but did not find him as he was reported to have left for a visit to Swaziland.

But Sowetan stumbled upon Mkhantswa at Masoyi Stadium during the Women's Day celebrations.

He was accompanied by a choir from his school that performed at the celebrations.

Mkhantswa tried to block the camera with his hand when he was being photographed.

He also threatened to physically deal with this reporter if his pictures were published in Sowetan .

"If you want a picture of me you must ask; don't just take it without my consent because that makes me very angry.

"If the pictures appear in your paper you will hate ever meeting me in your life," threatened Mkhantswa.

He also tried to attack the reporter physically but withdrew at the sight of the police.

Nelspruit police spokesperson Dimpo Nkosi confirmed that by yesterday afternoon Mkhantswa had not yet been arrested.

Mtshali called upon the Ministry of Education to look into the matter, saying that without any help the children would not sit for their final examinations.

"I'm very disappointed with Mkhantswa, I thought he was a good man but I was wrong.

"Every time he is being investigated about his conduct towards the children he asks them to lie for him.

"I think he needs professional help," said Mtshali, minutes before she and the two girls crossed the border into Swaziland.

"My daughter is not the first to try and kill herself because of this man; a similar thing happened last year," said Mtshali.