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Dept: Mahikeng schools not safe for pupils, teachers amid protests

Classes were disrupted following unconfirmed reports that a school was set alight on Thursday.

The Mmabana Arts and Cultural Centre in Mahikeng has been gutted in a fire during protests in the area. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Education Department says schools in Mahikeng are not safe for pupils and teachers amid the ongoing protests against Premier Supra Mahumapelo.

Classes were disrupted following unconfirmed reports that a school was set alight on Thursday.

On Thursday, a man died after the vehicle he was travelling in crashed into protesters who were trying to evade police officers during a looting spree.

Several properties and vehicles were also torched.

At least 23 people have now been arrested for public violence in the last three days.

The department’s Elijah Mhlanga says they will decide on Sunday whether to re-open schools on Monday.

“Schools have been closed in Mahikeng area, to allow the situation to settle down because we don’t want to put our learners and teachers in danger.”

Meanwhile, police officers continue to monitor the area ahead of the arrival of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is expected to meet with African National Congress leaders in the area who are seemingly divided.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)