No arrest in intimidation case yet

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Patricia_De_Lille Independent Newspapers Patricia de Lille. Pic : Jason Boud.

No arrest has been made since the Democratic Alliance laid criminal charges against those preventing pupils from attending Northern Cape schools, Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille said on Saturday.

“We demand that those behind the organised intimidation of school-children be arrested immediately,” she said in a statement.

“Where the police force is failing to ensure the constitutional right to safety and dignity for so many, then a provincial government must act decisively.”

The case was opened at the Transvaal Road police station in Kimberley on Thursday, according to the Sunday Times.

A total of 41 of the 65 schools in the Johan Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality, which includes Kuruman, have been closed since June because of residents intimidating children. Locals had been protesting over a lack of tarred roads in the municipality.

An 18-page report, compiled by an education task team, was handed to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on the situation last Monday.

De Lille claimed that three schools had been burnt down.

She said hundreds of learners were relocated to an army camp and others to a secure location.

The National And Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) on Saturday condemned the incident.

“It is disturbing that the communities in this area are prepared to use the education and future of the children as a bargaining chip to obtain political goals,” said Naptosa president Ezrah Ramasehla in a statement.

He engaged in talks with teachers and learners from schools that were closed, and said the protection of the buildings and infrastructure was a concern.

Naptosa said it feared the disruptions would have implications on the upcoming school examinations.

“The catch-up program will only be finalised once the majority of schools have re-opened, said Ramasehla. - Sapa

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