33 Teachers down tools

TEACHERS at Mphetsebe High School in Mentz, outside Mankweng, Turfloop, downed tools in protest against their principal's "unruly" behaviour.

The 33 teachers boycotted classes yesterday and called on MEC for education Dickson Masemola to intervene.

The teachers demanded Masemola to at least give them transfer letters to work in other schools around the area or dismiss the principal.

The action follows an announcement by the principal during assembly yesterday that he had pardoned a group of "bully" pupils pending their disciplinary hearing.

The pupils are accused of repeatedly boycotting lessons and allegedly assaulting teachers and sometimes calling them names.

One of the teachers, Rosemary Ramokone Letsoalo, was allegedly brutally assaulted in full view of other pupils while teaching last year.

The incident happened as Letsoalo was trying to control a boy who was misbehaving but, instead, he slapped her in the face and she fell down.

Last week, another pupil allegedly hurled insults at a teacher and called her names in full view of other pupils, as she tried to stop a fight between pupils.

A few weeks ago, a Grade 10 pupil had reportedly dropped a pack of six rotten eggs in the classroom, disrupting the lessons.

"When we report all this to the principal, he does nothing except to incite his bully friends to attack us.

"We cannot afford to work in this type of condition. We want the principal out of this school or else go tla nkga go sa bola - a Sepedi expression meaning all hell will break loose," said the irate teachers during a meeting held at the school yesterday.

Provincial spokesperson for the department Ndo Mangala said when a pupil misbehaves at school, disciplinary action must be taken against the pupil.

"We will send our officials to the school to check the problem and see what action needs to be taken in an effort to bring the situation back to normal," he said.