You can’t destroy schools under my watch – Lesufi

Johannesburg – Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he will not fix damage to the Orlando High School in Soweto after an office and the library were vandalised during a strike over the suspension of a teacher." You can destroy in other provinces, but not under my leadership," Lesufi said at the school on Friday.

Fifty schools were either burned down or vandalised in Limpopo recently during a demarcation protest.

Lesufi said he would not tolerate people who wanted to destroy schools.

“We will have another copycat doing the exact same thing at other schools; we need to deal with these suspects decisively,” he said.

The violence broke out on Thursday morning, after an English teacher was served with a notice of suspension.

The principal served the letter on the English teacher after the two were involved in an altercation, Lesufi’s spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said.

Pupils locked teachers and workers inside the school grounds, while they ransacked the office and trashed the library. They broke windows and overturned tables.

An education department official, the school governing body, teachers’ union Sadtu, and Bodibe had a meeting at the school on Friday morning. Lesufi arrived later and joined the meeting.

Hamilton Chauke, a Grade 11 pupil, said they would continue to fight for their teacher.

Lesufi said he needed more information about the incident to decide the future of the school. He said there was a chance the school could be closed.

He said he knew for a fact that the school’s prefects knew who was responsible, but that they would not speak. Some teachers had incited the violence, he said.

He would meet parents on Sunday. On Monday he would brief the entire school.



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