Polokwane, Limpopo -
ANC Youth League protesters dispersed peacefully on Thursday after they marched on the offices of the Limpopo premier and education MEC.
The march, which was delayed for over an hour, started under heavy police presence at SABC park. Officers in about 10 vehicles kept watch.
Pupils of the Moruleng and Mohlakaneng secondary schools, in Seshego outside Polokwane, were bussed in to join the march.
The pupils, who were there without the permission of their schools, carried placards with slogans “We demand jobs” and “Administration must release our province”.
The league was marching against the national government placing five Limpopo departments, including education, under administration in December 2011.
Expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema used to go to Mohlakaneng Secondary.
The education department said it was disappointing that ANCYL members were disrupting schooling.
“The department condemns the disruption of schools for political gains,” spokesman Pat Kgomo said in a statement.
“We want to urge the principals, school governing bodies and parents to urgently report any disruptions to the law enforcement agency, and also appeal to learners to refrain from participating in any event that is not curriculum orientated.”
The crowd first marched to education MEC Dickson Masemola's office to hand a memorandum to him. After waiting for about 30
minutes, they left for the premier's office, saying they would be back later in the day.
“Dickson is a betrayer,” the sang, displaying placards reading:
“We demand textbooks”.
Provincial league secretary Jacob Lebogo said the protesters would not hand the memorandum to an unknown official. It had to be to the MEC himself.
“If Dickson (Masemola) wants us to stop education in our schools he must continue with his behaviour,” Lebogo said.
The march then moved to Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale's office.
Dressed in African National Congress T-shirts they sang: “We are changing (President Jacob) Zuma's government” and “The Youth League must pray for us”.
The group marched to Mathale's office to hand over a memorandum demanding he fire Masemola and deliver textbooks to schools in the province. Mathale was also unavailable to receive the memorandum. It was eventually handed to co-operative governance MEC Clifford Motsepe.
The ANCYL said their demands had to be handed to Zuma within 24 hours, and they would march again if their demands were not met.
Police kept watch as the last buses filled with marchers left. - Sapa