Hundreds of pupils and teachers at the Derdepoort Primary School in Uil Street, east of Pretoria, were evacuated on Tuesday morning following a bomb threat.
The South African Police Service’s explosive and trauma units and the Pretoria K9 unit were immediately dispatched to the school shortly after the bomb threat.
Spokesperson Captain Coba Brits said a man called at 10.45am and warned the school about the bomb.
A pastor who had gone to collect her grandchild alleged that by 12.30pm, parents waiting outside the school had no knowledge of the bomb scare.
“I asked police outside the main gate of the school what was happening, but they said nothing was wrong and that everyone was safe,” the pastor said.
“The school had not sent a teacher out to explain to the parents what was happening. They kept us in the dark.”
Concerned parents were denied entry to the school’s premises and barred from collecting their children.
The children were only allowed to leave the school’s premises from 12.40pm.
Parents then complained to The Citizen that the school had later tried making light of the bomb threat.
They alleged that they were sent SMSs at 12.52pm that read: “Parents, we had a good emergency evacuation exercise in school time with the Saps.
“Please fetch the pupils at the Wolmarans or Alice Street gates. Derdepoort Primary.”
A concerned parent later condemned the school’s actions.
“The school must never lie to the parents. We will not tolerate it and we will take it up with the school,” parents said.
The pastor said it was time the school learnt to handle these types of situation.
“It might be the first, but it is still no excuse,” she said.
“I don’t know what else we could do, but we need to pray.”