Students’ protest cause chaos in Pretoria CBD

Stock picture:  Picture: Valeska Abreu

Stock picture: Picture: Valeska Abreu

The Pretoria Central Business District (CBD) has descended into chaos as protesting school children march through the streets to the Department of Basic Education.

About 2000 pupils took to the streets in protest demanding better education, hygiene, proper food schemes, and adequate security at schools.

Traffic has come to a standstill as various roads are being cordoned off.

Some pupils could be seen looting goods from vendors as they made their way to the department.

A heavy police presence as well as metro police is in the area, but they seem to be outnumbered by the children.

A memorandum of grievance has already been handed over to a representative from the department, but groups of children can still be seen heading towards the department.

At the same time, education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has condemned the disruption of schooling by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) in Soweto and Mamelodi

A statement released by the department said the MEC had noted reports of intimidation, rampage and disorder caused by members of Cosas

“The MEC upholds everyone’s right to peaceful demonstration as provided in our constitution and does not support anyone engaged in violent acts. MEC Lesufi is disappointed in the conduct of Cosas this morning as this goes against the agreement the MEC had with the leadership of Cosas not to engage in any illegal activities during their marches.”

But Cosas Secretary General Khulekani Skosana denied pupils were forced to join the march.

“We are fighting for the rights of every school child. No one was forced to come. In fact those who are guilty of forcing others to join will be guilty and we will condemn that in the strongest way.”


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