Arson case opened after Cape Town classrooms torched - MEC

Tammy Petersen, News24

Cape Town - Western Cape education department officials laid criminal charges on Tuesday against arsonists believed to be targeting the Nomzamo Primary school, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said.

This after five mobile classrooms were torched on Saturday when burning tyres were allegedly placed underneath them.

Schäfer said in a statement that officials had visited the school on Tuesday morning to inspect what remained of the building.

"However, as a result of this action some learners have had to be sent home until the classrooms have been declared safe or an alternative arrangement can be made," she said.

"We are still trying to ascertain the reason behind the arson, but whatever it may be, it is simply unacceptable to burn down any school facility."

The criminal action had resulted in pupils being deprived of their constitutional right to education, Schäfer said.

"We have huge needs in the Western Cape. We need to build more schools, maintain existing schools, employ more teachers for ever increasing numbers of learners, and continue to provide for our poor learners.

"Actions such as this waste money which we cannot afford.

"There appears to be a growing trend to threaten us with destruction of property if people do not get what they want. This is completely counter-productive, as all it means is that there are fewer and fewer resources available to improve education."