School plagued by 'evil spirit'

TEACHING was disrupted at KwaShaka High School in Umlazi, south of Durban, when some pupils fainted and parents broke into tears "for no reason".

There was mass hysteria yesterday when more than 80 pupils had to be rushed to the local clinic after experiencing breathing problems. It's not clear what led to the situation.

Medical rescue teams had their hands full trying to resuscitate pupils and parents who had fainted at the school. According to some of the teachers, this "mass hysteria" started last week when some female pupils started screaming for no apparent reason.

This allegedly brought learning and teaching to a standstill, and led to the school being closed for several days.

Parents also allegedly experienced what their children felt while they were at the school to attend a school governing body meeting aimed at addressing the situation.

It's alleged that while parents were at the meeting some female pupils started screaming at the top of their voices, and when some parents tried to help them they also started screaming while some fainted.

Teachers at the school said they were baffled by what was happening at their school.

A concerned teacher said: "We had called a parents meeting so that we could come up with a strategy to deal with the 'evil spirit' in our school.

"We had hoped to solve this problem, instead the situation had worsened. We hope to get religious leaders today to come and pray for us."

She said the "cursed school" needed the support of religious communities "to fight the evil in our midst".

Departmental spokesperson Mbali Thusi said they were concerned about the disruptions at the school. She said affected pupils were rushed to a nearby clinic for observation and were later discharged.

"We do not know what is happening at the school, but our powers are limited. We now rely on the guidance of parents on how to resolve the situation. We hope the situation will soon be back to normal," she said.