South Africa News

N4 closed in NW due to protest over school admission

The N4 freeway between Groot Marico and Swartruggens was closed for traffic on Wednesday due to a protest, the North West Department of Community Safety and Road Management said.

Spokesperson Boitshoko Moremi said protesters barricaded the road with stones and burning tyres.

“It is alleged that the community is accusing the principal of Thuto-Ke-Matla Secondary School of refusing admission of learners at the school, and are therefore requesting his dismissal,” she said.

She said North West Community Safety and Transport Management MEC, Sello Lehari, has pleaded for calm to be restored, and for members of the community to open the road. He further requests that parents exercise patience as government intervenes.

“Road users are requested to use alternative routes. Law enforcement is monitoring the situation. No damages have been reported as yet and no arrest has been made,” she said.

In another development the North West Education Department said parents of learners at Tirelong Secondary School in Kroondal, near Rustenburg, have agreed that their children should be allowed to go back to school, without any disturbance.

Spokesperson Elias Malindi said the department met parents on Tuesday.

“The learners of Tirelong Secondary School were allegedly abducted from school by unknown people. About 54 learners from Naauwpoort Mega Farm School were allegedly forcefully removed and 162 learners were taken away from Boons Mega Farm School,” he said.

“The department invited the Tirelong Secondary School parents to an urgent meeting. The primary purpose of the meeting was for parents to sign the commitment letters to allow learners to stay at the boarding schools.”

He said parents have expressed anger about the people who removed children from the boarding school.

Learners from Tirelong were placed at Naauwpoort, Boons, and Moedwil after their school was vandalized during the holidays.

Window frames, door frames, electricity cables, water taps, kitchen utensils and the school roof were removed, making it impossible to welcome learners and a have a productive first day of the academic year on January 12.

The decision to move children from Kroondal to other schools was met with resistance from some parents and children.

They wanted the department to provide mobile classrooms instead of placing children at other schools.

-IOL

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