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Lesufi promises to put pupils' safety first amid Gauteng violence

MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the Lungisani Primary School in Katlehong, on the East Rand, on Wednesday afternoon following reports that the institution was set alight.

FILE: Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN..

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the sporadic unrest that has hit several parts of the province was putting the safety of pupils at risk.

Lesufi visited the Lungisani Primary School in Katlehong, on the East Rand, on Wednesday afternoon following reports that the institution was set alight.

The reports caused panic among parents who rushed to fetch their children.

Police have since moved to allay fears and confirming that the reports were not true.

Lesufi has warned against the spreading of fake news, saying the irresponsible messaging was disruptive to learning.

He said his department was working with law enforcement agencies to ensure pupils were safe.

“We are pleading with parents to ignore this message and if they feel that something needs to happen, they can then contact the department and the department will verify if the information is correct. But for now, everything is back to normal and classes will resume tomorrow.”

Earlier, riots erupted in the township and the Sontonga Mall in the area was looted.

MALVERN NOW CALM

The community of Malvern in Johannesburg continues to be divided following days of mass looting and violence in the area.

As foreign nationals start to pick up the pieces, some locals said they brought this on themselves because they peddle drugs and committed crimes.

Calm has been restored, but the tensions remain high.

The aftermath of the rampant looting and violence can be seen and felt in Jules Street in Malvern.

Shop owners, whose stores were burnt and looted, are busy trying to rebuild their lives.

One woman, who owns a laundry shop that was ransacked, said she didn't know what her next step was.

“The dryers, even the people’s clothes that were here and the machines [are damaged]. We don’t know where to start," she said.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers are still patrolling the area.