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‘If they continue to burn schools, let it be’

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says her department has exhausted its resources in trying to help pupils who’ve been hardest hit by the ongoing Vuwani protests.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – As police continue to monitor the situation in protest-hit Vuwani on Thursday morning, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has sent a strong message to residents, telling them to either continue with violent demonstrations or save the education of their children.

Motshekga says her department has exhausted its resources in trying to help pupils who have been the hardest hit by the ongoing protests over demarcation.

Almost 30, 000 pupils have been away from school this week as tensions flared up.

Last year, about 30 schools were either torched or vandalised during protests over the same issue.

Angie Motshekga says it's now up to Vuwani residents to decide on the future of their children.

“If they continue to burn schools, let it be. Last year they really disrupted us – we didn’t get to other areas because we were all running to Vuwani. This time I am not going to Vuwani.”

She adds: "It's a serious moral dilemma. We need to go and save those kids and on the other hand, you have a huge responsibility. We can't keep on doing the same thing over and over again. So it's not only disappointing, it's saddening."

She says the department has already spent millions in catch programmes and temporary structures.

“We took money last year that belonged to other projects and took it to Vuwani; then there’s a repeat?”

The Education Minister says she's deeply saddened that innocent children are bearing the brunt of the ongoing demarcation dispute.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to visit the protest-hit Limpopo town on Thursday in an effort to bring about peace and stability.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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