Roodepoort school crisis: Mediation team given 48 hours to find solution

The team, which includes Unicef’s Yvonne Chaka Chaka & Reverend Paul Verryn, will give a report by Saturday.

FILE. Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced that his department handed over the dispute to the mediation team and has given it 48 hours to find a solution. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A mediation team chaired by Reverend Gift Moerane is meeting with all stakeholders this morning, and throughout the day, to find a compromise to the ongoing disruptions at Roodepoort Primary.

On Wednesday night, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced that his department handed over the dispute to the mediation team and has given it 48 hours to find a solution.

The mediation team will explore the dispute that has seen the school temporarily closed and police opening fire with rubber bullets to disperse parents who gathered at the school.

Pupils are temporarily having their classes at the Lufhereng Primary School, west of Soweto.

Moerane said the team will waste no time in meeting with stakeholders this morning, for solutions to be tabled within 48 hours.

"There will be issues that maybe will need long term intervention, and we will actually take them, record them and see how best we can resolve this issues."

He said the mediation process will be as inclusive as possible and find a compromise strong enough to get pupils back into classrooms.

Also part of the mediation processes, Moerane said, the team's only term of reference is to resolve the current impasse and to be open minded to any compromise.

"It is open minded and not in any way inclined into anything that happened before."

WATCH: _After 34 meetings, community members & the GDE, it's hoped a solution will be reached soon. _

The mediation team, which includes the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef)'s Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Reverend Paul Verryn, is expected to give an interim report and possible solutions by Saturday morning.

UNDUE INFLUENCE

Lesufi said the mediation team mandated to end the Roodepoort Primary School dispute must be free from any undue influence or political interference.

The MEC once again called for peace at Roodepoort Primary while the mediation process continues.

"We have committed ourselves as a department to step back, watch and allow them to interview all the relevant parties."

He said the team will help parents and his department find common ground and has urged for all involved to make submissions.

Pastor Alan Morris, from the Davidsonville community, said he will explain to all those involved that this is not a racial matter.

"I will come and I will show them it's not a racist issue."

While members from the Davidsonville community forum accused Lesufi of oppressing their views at the meeting held on Wednesday night, they welcomed the mediation process, due to begin today.