We thought Hoërskool Overvaal matter would ‘sort itself out’‚ says Motshekga

More than one million pupils started school in 2006. But 12 years later only small percentage of those who made it to matric in 2017 scored a distinction.
Angie Motshekga More than one million pupils started school in 2006. But 12 years later only small percentage of those who made it to matric in 2017 scored a distinction.
Image: Trevor Samson

Basic Education Minister‚ Angie Motshekga on Monday said she and department officials had not anticipated that the issues of Hoërskool Overvaal would spiral out of control.

Addressing school officials‚ Motshekga said they had hoped that the matter would "fizzle out" but this had not happened.

"As MEC Lesufi has just explained‚ we have been talking about this matter and we just thought it would fizzle out and sort itself out…but unfortunately it just took a turn that we didn't expect‚" Motshekga said during a visit to the school on Monday afternoon.

She said it was unfortunate that a matter for the courts had been dragged to the school premises.

Motshekga stressed that children's access to education should not be interfered and that those who were unhappy about last week's ruling could approach the courts.

"They are not involved in adult matters. There should be no violence nor singing in front of the schools. So we are appealing to everybody to say there is a process that is quite clear. If they are unhappy about the court decision‚ then they must be friends of the court‚ but they must not bring the battle to the school."

Motshekga issued a plea for disgruntled parties to stay away from the school from Tuesday afternoon‚ adding those who had issues could instead direct their concerns to her and Lesufi's offices.

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Motshekga also addressed learners at the school.

Tensions flared outside the school last week during protests over the school's language policy.

A number of people were arrested after a petrol bomb was thrown at a police vehicle‚ allegedly by supporters of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas).

The row erupted after the school refused an instruction by the education department to accept 55 English-speaking pupils. The school said it had no capacity to admit the learners and its decision was backed by the High Court in Pretoria.

During the court battle‚ the department submitted that it had put all necessary measures in place to accommodate the 55‚ including furniture‚ study material and an English teacher.

 

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