'Driving school boss has taken our cash'

THE future of more than 150 driving school learners at Mopani Skills and Development looks bleak after its owner allegedly disappeared with their cash.

They said the owner, known as "Digga Nkhwashu" who said he came from Bonn village, had only come to the school three times since January when the institution began operating.

The school, situated in the Mokwakwaila business centre in Bolobedu, was started as a community empowerment project.

The students said the owner of the school had visited various villages in the area and asked communities to support the programme. The students were told to pay "only R1500" to complete the driving course.

A spokesperson for the students' Maria Seabela' said they became suspicious about the legality of the school when they learnt it was unregistered.

She said they had been taught in an un-roadworthy and unregistered truck.

Its brakes and reverse gear also didn't work properly, she said.

Seabela said Nkhwashu had claimed to be operating from offices in Tzaneen but when they visited the town to check on this the offices in the building were always locked.

She said many of the students had decided to take the course because the price of the licence seemed reasonable.

According to Seabela some students paid R1500 directly on enrolling at the driving school.

"Some of us, who had already passed our learner's test, had to book again after discovering that the driving school was unknown to the authorities."

The students told Sowetan at the weekend that they were now struggling to survive after parting with their cash, saying they would lay criminal charges against the owner of the school if he fails to refund them their money within a week.

An attempt to get comment from the driving school or to track down the owner was unsuccessful at the time of going to press.