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Matsemela condemns disruption of school in Ikageng
16 Sept 2015

 
Potchefstroom - MaphefoMatsemela,MEC for Education and Sport Development in North West, on Friday, 11 September 2015 condemned the disruption of schooling in Ikageng.
Protest about the proposed amalgamation of Ventersdorp and Potchefstroom resulted in learners failing to turn up for school in Ikageng Township. However, Potchefstroom town schools were unaffected by the unrests.
About 80% of learners were out of school, and some of them participated in the protest march opposed to amalgamation of the two towns. Elias Malindi, departmental spokesperson, said it it has become a norm that whenever there is protest, learners always bear the brunt of the disruptive action. 
“At the moment across the country the Grade 12 learners are sitting for the preparatory examination which means most learners use this period to prepare for exams. Chapter Two of the Bill Of Rights of the Constitution of South Africa stipulates that children have a right to education. Adults should always protect the interest of children by ensuring that learners have free access to education.”
Matsemela expressed her disappointment on the issue of the disruption of schooling.”Adults should desist from using children for their political gains. I strongly condemn the act of disruption of schooling that happened in Potchefstroom area.  We expect adults to provide learners with access to go to school every time since they are future of our country. I am appealing to all communities whenever they want to protest for anything they should stay away from disrupting lessons in our schools.”
She further urged parents to protect learners from those individuals who want to use their children for their political benefit.
Cllr. Chris Landsberg, DA Caucus Leader in the Tlokwe Council, placed the blame for the unrest in Ikageng on the shoulders of Dakota Lekgoete, ANC Provincial Secretary, saying statements made by him during a radio debate on the proposed amalgamation of the towns in which the DA also participated on Thursday evening, sparked the protest. “During the debate, Lekgoete said “people can march, do whatever they want to – it will not bring them anything, it will not change the ANC’s viewpoint.”.
According to Landsberg, residents already planned a peaceful community march to the municipal offices on Friday, 11 September, to hand over a petition with their grievances against the amalgamation. “However, immediately after Lekgoete was heard on radio, residents took to the streets, displaying their dismay.”
Juanita Terblanche, DA MP, earlier indicated that the DA will oppose the merger in the High Court.