ROODERPOORT, South Africa – The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) and the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) threatened to close Charterhouse, a private school in Roodepoort, on Tuesday citing concerns for the safety of pupils.
They accused school management of endangering children’s lives by operating during a pandemic when the Department of Basic Education (DBE) requested that independent schools to also remain shut until February.
Cosas and ANCYL members sang outside the school. The ANCYL’s Lindokuhle Xulu confronted management, saying the school was “bringing young children with weak immune system to school to kill them”.
However, AdvTEch School chief executive Mike Aitken denied Xulu’s accusations, saying teachers had plans in place to ensure that children physically distance.
Xulu said schools should be open during a pandemic.
“We must save lives and it can’t be that some people are operating outside the mandate of government. Our view is that these private school don’t respect government.
“They are not here teaching because they want to teach our people, they are teaching because they are after profits.
“These kids will leave with the disease (from school) and infect their families.
“Some of these families have helpers who are black, and they will go home with the disease and infect communities,” he said.
Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona, who was at the school as well, said some of the schools were operating before the government gazetted the decision to delay the reopening of schools.
“The gazette allows them to operate from February 1. We all need to toe the line and make sure we don’t find ourselves in a situation where we encourage people to come to our schools and close them,” Mabona said.