'We'll help you find who torched school,' community tells Lesufi

One of the two classrooms at Katlehong Primary School in Ekurhuleni that was damaged following a protest by community members against lack of electricity in the area.
One of the two classrooms at Katlehong Primary School in Ekurhuleni that was damaged following a protest by community members against lack of electricity in the area.
Image: Gauteng education department

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the community of Katlehong has denied it was behind an arson attack at Katlehong Primary School last week.

Two Grade R classrooms were torched in the blaze.

Following the incident last Thursday, Lesufi said that if the community was involved then the department would not fix the school.

"I cannot take money from another community that desperately need a school and go to fix a school that people do not appreciate," he said last week.

However, Lesufi said on Monday he accepted the community’s position that it did not mobilise and burn the school. Lesufi said the report from the school’s principal also did not suggest that the community was responsible.

"Accordingly, it is suspected that this act of arson might be the work of a lone member of the community. 

"We have an undertaking from the community to assist to track [down] the culprit," Lesufi said.

Lesufi said the affected pupils would temporarily be accommodated in two identified classes at the same school and teaching would resume as planned on Tuesday.

"We fully support the community’s standpoint and, henceforth, we will work with them and the police to apprehend this rogue element.

"However, reality is that we do not have funds to repair the school. The department is at an advanced stage to check what can be salvaged from this mess," Lesufi said.


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