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MHUBHE PUPILS RIOT, SCHOOL CLOSED

By Bongiwe Dlamini | 2019-05-09

MhubHe High School, in the Manzini region, has been closed indefinitely.

This follows a violent pupils’ protest, which in fact, started on Tuesday when the school re-opened for the second-term, where pupils are said to have distributed pamphlets and a petition making damning allegations against the school Principal, Agrippa Dlamini.

Manzini Regional Education Officer Mlimi Mamba confirmed that the school was closed indefinitely.

He announced that there will be a parents meeting on Tuesday to attend to the issues affecting the school.

Yesterday, the situation just turned ugly when the pupils vandalised property and aimed stones at their principal.

Information gathered was that it was just before 8am when the bell rang for pupils to go to the assemble square.

Just when pupils were preparing to heed the bell, it is said that stones were hurled at the roofing of some classrooms near the administration block.

Some eyewitnesses said while pupils were startled by the noise, they saw some stones hurled at their head teacher, who was at the school yard when this happened.

Luckily, sources said the head teacher quickly ran for cover in other classrooms that were away from the ones that were attacked by the angry mob.

As if that was not shocking enough, another group of  pupils is said to have stormed the administration block and wreaked havoc.

They are said to have torn some files and vandalised furniture that was housed there before they torched it.

The pupils are said to have used some oil that was in a container within the school premises along with some paraffin that the ring leaders brought with them to burn the school property.

Moreover, shards of glass were scattered all over outside some of the classrooms that are near the administration block.

Allegations

The cause of such an act by the pupils is alleged to have been triggered by reports that the allegations levelled against Dlamini (head teacher) were vehemently dismissed by the powers that be at the ministry of education and training.

According to some sources, the angry group was of the belief that the damning allegations against the head teacher were true since they knew those they affect.

Amongst the burnt items was a mattress that was allegedly stored in one of the offices, before the pupils proceeded to torch school furniture. When this publication’s team visited the school at around 10am yesterday, a bevy of police officers were found camped in and outside the school premises.

A short while later, the police officers sprang into action, after pupils suspected to be part of those who caused the destruction, were spotted at a distance heading towards the school.

One of the senior police officers suspected that they were regrouping for another attack to the school. Some of the officers strategically pursued the suspected culprits.

The head teacher could not be reached for comment, as when his school was visited, he was said to have been locked in a meeting with officials from the ministry of education and training and senior police officers.

Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati confirmed that police were called to ensure safety of those affected in the school, following the pupils’ boycott.

She said none of the culprit pupils were caught by the police. In fact by late last night, police were reported still camped within the school.

When the REO was asked whether the ministry was looking into the allegations against the head teacher, Mamba asked not to comment on this matter.

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