By Botho Molosankwe and Tebogo Monama
Johannesburg - Education authorities suspended lessons and closed Orlando High School for the day after pupils went on the rampage on Thursday, vandalising property and looting computers, laptops and tablets.
Police used rubber bullets to disperse the mob of pupils who locked themselves in the school building while they ran amok.
The pupils broke the wooden door to the principal’s office in order get into the admin block. They ripped the computer from the principal's desk and stole it.
They did the same in the staff room, the general office and the deputy principal’s office.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was disgusted at the pupils' actions and that the culprits would be expelled if they were identified and found guilty.
He said he wouldn't replace any of the stolen or damaged property.
“I can’t take money from those who need it and give it to those that break property deliberately. If you destroy something that belongs to you and think that the government will replace it, you are wrong. I am disgusted.”
Some of the pupils said the chaos started when a group started rioting because they were unhappy about the principal firing their favourite teacher.
However, the provincial Department of Education said the information it received was that the pupils were angry because the principal issued a notice to the teacher to attend a disciplinary hearing.
Pupils went to their classrooms on Thursday morning, kicked the teachers out of the school and locked the gates. They then broke some of windows leading to the admin block.
In addition to the computers that were stolen, pupils allegedly also made off with school uniforms on sale and trophies.
Police spokeswoman Captain Nomvula Mbense said the SAPS had received a call on Thursday morning about the pupils vandalising the school.
“They said they did not want the principal and that he must go. Police had to break the gate to gain entry,” she said.
Police arrested four pupils who were found with laptops in their school bags.
Lesufi was expected to be at the schoolon Friday morning.