Limpopo pupil pays high price for bungle

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MOLOKO MOLOTO

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WHEN Ofentse Mehlape’s mom died in 2007, his aunt promised to offer him quality education. But now the future of the 12-year-old Limpopo pupil hangs in the balance because of a bungle that is not of his making.

Ofentse is among a throng of Grade 7 pupils at Ramogobe Primary School in Ga-Ramongoana village outside Polokwane, whose exam marks for June are currently outstanding.

This was because Jerry Ramohlale, their class teacher who happens to be the uncle and coach of disgraced Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo, has been absent from school.

Northern Sotho, life orientation and arts and culture – these are the three subjects taught by Ramohlale in Grades 5 and 7 that are missing from their reports.

The principal has written in Mehlape’s report, “subject teacher was absent” on the space for the exam marks for these three subjects.

Ramohlale is accused by the school governing body (SGB) and his colleagues of bunking work since his appointment as a temporary teacher last August.

Ramohlale refused to comment on allegations levelled against him, including claims that he had been away without permission to prepare his nephew for the Comrades Marathon.

Mamabolo faces a probe after his A and B samples tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, but he has maintained his innocence.

The principal, Matome Mara, said the Ramohlale matter was being handled by the district manager, MJ Mamabolo, who is accused of protecting Ramohlale from being disciplined. The Star reported yesterday that Mamabolo has allegedly instructed the SGB to reinstate Ramohlale last week, after the governing body had terminated his contract.

It’s not clear if MJ is related to the controversial athlete, even though they share the same surname.

Yesterday, the circuit manager refused to comment.

But Ofentse’s aunt, Refiloe Letlalo, said he had criticised her for taking the matter to the media.

Letlalo also said the missing marks were jeopardising her nephew’s chances of admission to schools next year.

“At Capricorn High School in Polokwane, a former Model C school, they were very sceptical that my nephew will be admitted if they don’t know how he performed,” she said.

“The department must just see to it that my nephew gets admission at my preferred school,” she said.

The Star has seen Ofentse’s report, which shows that he attained 82 percent in English and 68 percent in mathematics in June.

Limpopo Education Department spokesman Pat Kgomo said the matter was now being investigated by a senior district manager.


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