Tirelong abductions: Dept accused of duping parents into signing indemnity forms

The North West Education Department is looking into reports that over 100 pupils were abducted from a school hostel on Tuesday night.

FILE: Tirelong Secondary has been vandalised at least five times, with the most recent incident seeing the school robbed of electric cables, taps, roofing, books, window frames and doors. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Police are still puzzled by a bizarre suspected mass abduction involving school children in the North West province.

The provincial Education Department is looking into reports that over 100 pupils were abducted from a school hostel on Tuesday night.

And this story seems to be getting even more complicated.

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Officials have dismissed claims by Kroondal community members, who said that parents were duped into signing indemnity forms.

They allege that these waivers exempted the department from taking any responsibility in the event that harm came to learners at the vandalised Tirelong Secondary School.

Spokesperson Elias Malindi said that no one signed any such waiver.

"What we were giving the parents is a consent form to say as a parent you agree for your child to be relocated to the boarding school, so whenever a parent hands over a child to us, as soon as the child steps within the school premises, the responsibility now is for the Department of Education," Malindi said.

The children have been relocated to three neighbouring farm schools.

Members of the community who've spoken to Eyewitness News want the department to provide mobile classrooms but Malindi said that procurement processes could take months.