24 March 2023
Safety measures including day and night police patrols are to be put in place in a school in Nquthu, in rural KwaZulu-Natal, which was shut down for several days after teachers were threatened.
Mangeni Secondary School in KwaHlazakazi was closed on Wednesday, in the middle of first-term matric exams. On Wednesday morning, teachers living in cottages situated on the school premises returned from the weekend to find a threatening note slipped under the door of one of the cottages.
One learner, who did not want to be named, told GroundUp teachers had been robbed at gunpoint earlier this month and cellphones and money had been stolen from them.
The learner said the principal had told learners the school would be shut after teachers received the note, with a bullet, warning of another attack to punish teachers for reporting the previous robbery to the police. School principal Dlulabedlala Khumalo said he could not speak to the media.
After a meeting with teachers, parents, police, traditional leaders and education authorities, KwaZulu-Natal Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the school would return to normal on Monday with new safety measures in place. A night security guard would be paid for by parents and police would patrol the school day and night.
The learner told GroundUp that last year some matriculants had been robbed of cellphones while leaving the school late in the evening.
Mahlambi said that exams would have to be rescheduled. Teachers would receive counselling.
KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala confirmed that police were investigating a case of intimidation after a “letter threatening with ammunition was found. The matter is still under investigation.”