MEC reads the riot act

DUDUZANI Primary School in Lindelani, north of Durban, will reopen its gates today for teaching and learning.

This follows events a fortnight ago when irate parents and pupils went on the rampage, locked the school gates and vandalised the classrooms.

KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Senzo Mchunu, superintendent-general Cassius Lubisi and other senior officials from the department met members of school governing body (SGB) on Friday to discuss the reopening of the school.

"We are in the middle of February and we have repeatedly informed you about every step of the way on what has been happening about the project to build a new school," Mchunu said.

"February has not ended and a school is vandalised and closed because you are demanding a new school. This is irresponsible and illegal."

He said the construction of a new school, which was due to start soon, had been jeopardised by the actions of parents and pupils. The contractor has been instructed not to proceed with the building until certain issues have been cleared and the following has been done:

l The person(s) who locked the school gates unlocks them and informs the department that he or she has reopened them.

l The parents must commit that they carry the costs to all that was damaged during the protest.

l That the safety of teachers is guaranteed.

l The SGB, on behalf of parents, must make a formal public announcement that they are now willing that the school be reopened and request the department to reopen the school.