Dept: Malamulele school torching an act of criminality

A storeroom with textbooks and teaching material was set on fire at the Nkatini Secondary School on Wednesday.

FILE: The Limpopo Education Department says the torching of yet another school in Malamulele is an act of criminality and is not linked to the protests in the area. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Limpopo Education Department says the torching of yet another school in Malamulele is an act of criminality and is not linked to the protests in the area.

A storeroom with textbooks and teaching material was set on fire at the Nkatini Secondary School, in Xigalo village on Wednesday.

A six week lock down in the area was suspended this week. Residents are demanding their own municipality.

This is the fifth arson incident in the area since violence erupted in the area six weeks ago but the department's Paena Galane says these are the actions of criminals who are taking advantage of the volatile situation in the area.

"We want to believe what happened in this school is the work of criminals and is the work that the South African police Services and all other agencies need to work on."

Pupils in Malamulele began their schooling for 2015 on Tuesday after residents agreed to suspend their six week lockdown.

Government has agreed the community can resubmit their application to have their own municipality next month after the Municipal Demarcation Board refused their earlier request, saying they hadn't met the necessary requirements.

The department will also implement a 'catch-up plan' to ensure pupils are able to recover lost time.

On Wednesday, the Basic Education Department said it appointed a team of engineers to assess the damage caused at four schools that were set alight during violent protests in the area.

Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said, "Our officials are currently assessing the damage but we are also exploring using mobile classrooms to ensure that learning and teaching takes place while we are exploring a permanent solution, which might be repairing or even rebuilding where necessary."