File photo: David Ritchie / African News Agency (ANA)

Rustenberg - Two learners expelled by an angry group of parents from a school in Tlhabane near Rustenburg are back at the school.

The learners, aged nine and ten, went back to school on Monday, their father said.

"The situation is still bad, but anyhow they keep on attending their classes," he added.

The learners returned to school after the department of education in the North West ordered that they return to school on July 9, when the school reopened for the third quarter.

Departmental spokesman Elias Malindi said the department had not expelled the siblings and that they should return to school as any learner had the right to education.

However, the father, who has not been named to protect the identity of his children, said he was concerned about their safety and had initially decided not to let them return to school on July 9. They only returned to school this week.

The children were chased out of school on May 7 after a group of parents accused their father of stoking trouble at the school. The father had alleged the school's finances were clumsily handled. He was a member of the school governing body (SGB) but was kicked out of the SGB following his accusation.

Thereafter the father opened criminal charges against two teachers, after one teacher, aged 53, allegedly beat the ten-year-old girl with a broomstick on her hand, leading to a swollen hand, and another teacher, aged 55, allegedly kicked the nine-year-old boy with a stiletto heel on his knee, leaving him with an open wound. 

The teachers are appearing in the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court in Tlhabane, facing charges of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

The 55-year-old teacher is expected to appear in the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court again on July 18 while her colleague will appear in the same court on July 23.

The learners, in Grade 4 and Grade 5 respectively, missed the mid-year examination due to the unlawful expulsion.

African News Agency/ANA