Pham­bili High School pupils dis­placed by dis­pute

The Mercury - - NEWS - Thami Magubane

PUPILS at the Pham­bili High School in Ross­burgh, Dur­ban, may have to learn un­der a tree to­day af­ter be­ing evicted from their class­room, in terms of a court or­der.

The pupils were evicted from class­rooms lo­cated across the road from the main school build­ing yes­ter­day.

The class­rooms were be­ing used mostly by Grade 11 pupils.

The build­ing, which was taken over by “ten­ants” a few years ago, has been the sub­ject of a dis­pute be­tween the ten­ants and the school.

The ten­ants claimed the right to use the build­ing and the school also as­serted own­er­ship of the build­ing.

In March this year, pupils and par­ents stormed the build­ing and evicted the ten­ants.

An agree­ment was al­legedly reached be­tween the two par­ties, un­der which terms the ten­ants agreed to give up three rooms that could be used as class­rooms.

But this agree­ment later fell apart.

Pham­bili needs the ex­tra class­rooms as it has about 1 000 pupils and is fac­ing se­vere over­crowd­ing. Fol­low­ing back and forth tus­sles be­tween the school and the ten­ants over the past few weeks, the ten­ants went to court and se­cured an or­der to pre­vent them from be­ing il­le­gally evicted from the prop­erty.

EFF leader Mawethu Mathe, who is as­sist­ing the ten­ants, said the school had not fol­lowed pro­ce­dure when it first evicted the ten­ants.

“We ad­vised our peo­ple to fol­low the right ap­proach and go to court,” he said

“On May 4, a court or­der was granted against the school and the ten­ants were al­lowed to re­oc­cupy the space pend­ing an evic­tion or­der by the school,” he said.

“The or­der was en­forced to­day and we agreed with the sher­iff that we do not want to vic­timise the chil­dren, and there­fore they would be moved out af­ter classes ended.

“And their equip­ment would be moved back to the orig­i­nal school,” said Mathe.

A school gov­ern­ing body mem­ber, who did not want to be named, said pupils might have to study out­side un­til the ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment in­ter­vened.

School prin­ci­pal Londa Luthuli said he did not know where to place the pupils to­day.

He also ques­tioned the in­volve­ment of the EFF.

“The EFF lead­ers are here, mov­ing the school fur­ni­ture out. They are in­ter­fer­ing with teach­ing and learn­ing,” he said yes­ter­day after­noon.

Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Sicelo Khuzwayo said the depart­ment was look­ing into the mat­ter.

“We want to as­sure the pub­lic that we will do all that is pos­si­ble to make sure that learn­ers at the school do not lose out on learn­ing time.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.