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Dept wants harsh punishment for school vandals

Six children who are accused of defacing classrooms at a school in Alexandria near Port Elizabeth.

FILE: The children aged between nine and 12-years-old will return to court next week. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Eastern Cape Education Department wants harsh punishment for six children who are accused of defacing classrooms at a school in Alexandria near Port Elizabeth.

The children aged between nine and 12-years-old will return to court next week where they face theft and housebreaking charges.

They were part of a group of 20 children who allegedly broke into Alexandria High School last week and caused damage to almost all the classrooms.

The minors have been released into their parents care until their next court appearance.

The department's Loyiso Pulumani says, "Posing a reasonable sanction that will send a lesson to everyone that schools are very important in the development of our community. We will be very critical and as such we hope as a department that those culprits will suffer the consequences of their actions."

At the same time the North West Education Department says it will on Monday receive a report on an investigation into claims that teachers at a high school near Brits were bribed by learners.

It's alleged some pupils at the Motshwane High School last month paid teachers R800 during exams so they could automatically pass.

Pupils who were in grade 10 and 11 last year will remain in these grades until the investigation has been concluded.

The matter surfaced in December after one of the pupils recorded a conversation on his cellphone of his fellow schoolmates boasting they'd passed despite not writing their end of year exams.

The department's Brian Setswambung says, "The investigation report is one that will empower the department to know if we have a prima facie case against the perpetrators and if we have a case we can start instituting disciplinary proceedings."

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