The severely damaged Johannes Ramavhoya Secondary School in Khakhanwa.

Another school set alight during Malamulele protests


At a time when calls are coming from all quarters for learning to return to normality in the Malamulele area where pupils have not been attending classes for four weeks now, another area in the Thohoyandou region has been left without school.

This follows the burning of a secondary school in the Mulenzhe area. Learning at the village came to a complete halt on Thursday. The situation at Khakhanwa village outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo remained tense amidst calls for calm by the leadership in the area.

The emotional atmosphere emanated from the burning of the local Johannes Ramavhoya Secondary School in the area. The school has been under constant threat, allegedly by protesters from Malamulele, who wanted the local residents to join them in solidarity in the fight for their own municipality, separate from the Thulamela municipality.

Pupils were, on the previous occasions, taken out of classes by strike enforcers, but parents started protecting the school after the police had allegedly refused to assist them. The latest incident which is said to have happened at around midnight comes amidst alleged threats by strikers that the school would be set alight.

Community leader, Tshilisanani Netshitungulwane said that they have been patrolling the area since the threats were made known. "We also informed the police about our fears but they did not take us seriously and we put the blame on them for this disaster.”

Netshitungulwane further added that the community is living in fear and children were no longer going to school freely. During a hastily convened meeting, community leaders implored residents to conduct themselves in the most dignified manner and to wait for the leadership to seek ways toward resolving the matter.

"We are known to be patient people. Let us not be carried by emotions and act in an unbecoming manner, that won’t help our situation. Together we can come up with a workable solution," said Cllr Thina Mbedzi, the local ward councillor.

The local traditional leader, Chief Mashavhaduvha Ramovha also called for calm and urged residents not to take the law into their own hands. During a subsequent meeting by different stakeholders in the community, they later resolved that education should continue no matter the odds.

According to reports, classes are being conducted under trees. Limpopo police spokesperson, Col Ronel Otto discounted the notion that police were doing nothing to protect schools at Mulenzhe. “We have limited manpower and we sometimes we cannot be everywhere all the time. As we speak, our members are busy patrolling. If our members were called and did not respond, this would be investigated," she said.

Also Read:

06 February 2015 - Militant youth reign in Malamulele

30 January 2015 - More woes in Malamulele despite Gordhan's visit

23 January 2015 - Malamulele shutdown resumes

16 January 2015 - Unrest again looms at Malamulele

Chief Mushavhaduvha Ramovha of Khakhanwa, who called for calmness during the mass meeting.


Date:12 February 2015

By: Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.

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