ANGRY PARENTS IN PROTEST AT SCHOOL
There was drama at Pfunanani Special School in Giyani, Limpopo, yesterday when more than 300 parents staged a sit-in demanding accommodation for their disabled children.
This was after more than 300 pupils were refused admission because there was not enough space.
The angry parents said they came with their children each year and were always told to return the following year.
Sydwell Mabunda, who works for the provincial department of sports, arts and culture, said he had been unable to get accommodation for his child for three years in a row now.
"It seems our children are not being regarded as human beings. In Polokwane there are many schools like this one, but in Mopani our children are being taken for granted," he said.
Maurice Hlabangwani of Mahonisi village said his disabled child has been idling at home for four years due to lack of accommodation at the school.
"My son is now 11 years old and the government does not seem to a take our plight seriously," a worried Hlabangwani said.
Another parent from Tzaneen said she would sleep at the school if her child was not given accommodation.
"Some children end up being raped and abused if they just stayed at home and did nothing," she said.
She said each year she spent money on transport to take her child to Giyani, only to be turned away.
After the parents had threatened to sleep on the school premises, Rapule Matsane, who is the manager responsible for infrastructure, addressed them.
He asked them to give the department until February 22 to provide answers to their problem.
But the parents refused to budge, saying they had been given promises every year without any relief.
The chairperson of the school governing body, Violet Masinge, said the government had been promising to build additional classrooms for years, but had failed to fulfil its promises.
She said she did not understand why the government was neglecting the school because it was the only one of its kind for disabled children in the Mopani region.
Provincial education department spokesperson Ndo Mangala said they would attend to the problem after receiving a report from Matsane.