Yet another school was torched between the troubled areas of Malamulele and Vuwani in the early hours of Sunday, Limpopo police said.
Nearly 30 schools were set alight and damaged in the months leading up to last month’s local government elections, amid calls by residents for the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) to reverse a decision to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages to form a new municipality.
Speaking to The Citizen, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the latest torching incident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. “The police in Malamulele have opened a case of arson after the local Mkhomi Humula High School was torched by unknown suspects.
“Three classrooms and a staff room were burnt,” he said. Mojapelo said fire investigators from the police’s forensic division in Pretoria had been asked to assist in the investigations.
“For now, the motive for the incident is unknown and no one has been arrested. We are hoping to conclude the investigations as soon as possible,” he said.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga reacted with shock to the latest incident yesterday, stressing that acts of this nature were delaying the progress of the department. Motshekga reportedly said there was no money to refurbish burnt schools.
The latest incident comes barely days after the SA Human Rights Commission released a report on how protest actions impacted on basic education. The report found that most protests had nothing to do with education but involved a range of issues, such as water, electricity, proper sanitation, housing and unemployment.
The report further found that the police and basic education department aren’t always prepared for protests and there is no uniform policy in place to mitigate the effects.