Only about 10 fighters showed up at Laerskool Nelspruit this morning after the EFF’s provincial leader, Collen Sedibe, threatened a protest action at the school, Lowvelder reports.
The school decided to close for the day, for everyone’s safety.
Sedibe was disappointed, as his protest is not against the school, but about a shortage of space in local public schools.
He has, however, sent mixed messages about his exact aims.
“Every year there is a crisis. We have received many complaints from parents about pupils who can’t find space in schools, because they are full. Now children are missing out, as classes have started but they are still on a waiting list,” he explained.
“The government must either add more classes or build new schools. Since the advent of democracy the town has grown exponentially, but no new schools have been built in town.
“More and more people are living and working in Mbombela, but they can’t place their children in schools. It is a very serious challenge for parents.”
Some parents who didn’t get the message about school being closed arrived at locked gates, and a presence of security companies and two ambulances on standby.
Only a handful of fighters eventually arrived.
Sedibe was disappointed, as he said they communicated to the school that they would be peaceful.
They intended to do the same at Laerskool Bergland and Laerskool Laeveld tomorrow and the day after, but not if those schools would close too, he said.
“For us education is the most important. We don’t want children to miss out on school.”
Laerskool Bergland cancelled a scheduled athletics meet at the school today.
EFF members and concerned community member, Jo Koster, said the fighters should have taken their protest to the department of education.
The protest action was not the first time a threatened protest by the party has failed to materialise.
After the initial release of this article Collen Sedibe contacted Lowvelder with information that the protest will be taking place at Laerskool Nelspruit, and not Hoërskool Nelspruit as he previously stated.