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Limpopo school standoff resolved

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Independent Newspapers

Njie-Mothapo Primary School pupils are seen outside the institution on Monday. They have not been able to attend class this year due to an ongoing spat between teachers and parents. Picture: Moloko Moloto

Johannesburg - The stalemate that resulted in pupils missing four days of schooling in Limpopo has been resolved.

While there was still no teaching at Njie-Mothapo Primary School at Ramogale village in the Mankweng area outside Polokwane on Monday, provincial education department officials stepped in to resolve the impasse.

A meeting between department officials and representatives for the teachers and parents resolved to set up a task team to investigate grievances at the school.

Parents had prevented pupils from attending lessons since schools reopened on Wednesday.

They demanded that three teachers be expelled from the school, accusing them of insulting their children and undermining the principal.

But following Monday’s meeting, they agreed to temporarily allow the three teachers to remain at the school pending the findings of the task team.

A parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that they agreed that lessons would start on Tuesday.

“We will not stop learners from attending classes. But we will have a meeting on Sunday and will take everything from there.”

As teacher and parent representatives were in a meeting with officials on Monday, pupils in uniform were seen loitering around the school while their parents stood outside.

Nearly 30 teachers, who pledged solidarity with their three colleagues, were seated in their cars.

Three police vehicles were on standby.

The manager of Kgakotlou circuit, C Chaba-Mamabolo, later told teachers in a mass meeting that parents had agreed to temporarily allow the three teachers to remain at the school and that a task team comprising teachers, parents and department officials would be set up to investigate grievances.

“We can’t say we have reached a permanent solution, because our (wish) is that you should be coming to work with no conditions,” she said, without explaining what the conditions were.

“Please accept the situation and work, because we are already behind schedule.”

The department is also investigating the alleged misappropriation of funds at the school.

Teacher representatives claim that parent representatives and the principal sideline them when taking decisions affecting the school.

* The case of rape against Piet Raseona, a security guard who allegedly raped nine boys at the school in 2012, was back at the Mankweng Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

 

Raseona was employed as a security guard at the school in 2008 despite a previous conviction on seven counts of indecent assault in terms of the Sexual Offences Act of 1957.

The court had sentenced him to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting primary school boys in 2002, but half of the sentence was suspended.

His 2012 case was struck off the roll last year because his charge sheet had gone missing

The case was later reinstated and on Monday it was postponed to March 25 and 26 for trial..

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