Threats to teachers delay reopening of 11 schools in uMkhambathini

The department said classes at 11 schools in the uMkhambathini area were now expected to resume on Thursday.

FILE: And while the dispute has nothing to do with education, some community members have chosen to use the schools as a soft target and bargaining tool. Picture: freeimages.com

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has delayed the reopening of 11 schools in the uMkhambathini area.

This comes after some teachers and principals received threatening calls allegedly from members of the community.

KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu visited the area earlier on Tuesday to assess the education system's readiness ahead of the reopening of schools on Wednesday.

The department said classes at 11 schools in the uMkhambathini area were now expected to resume on Thursday.

It said according to local government authorities, there was an ongoing legal dispute among the local traditional leadership.

And while the dispute has nothing to do with education, some community members have chosen to use the schools as a soft target and bargaining tool.

Officials say the gates were locked with heavy chains and padlocks at all 11 schools and whenever principals and teachers tried to get in, they received anonymous phone calls threatening their lives.

The department said while it appreciated that communities were free to engage in protest action, they could not be allowed to intimidate and prevent learners from attending school.