Minister Debbie Schäfer lays criminal charges to protect learners right to education in Grabouw

Debbie Schäfer, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Education

I would like to strongly condemn the violent action in the Grabouw area that has led to concerning disruption in our schools.

As a result of this action, five schools within Grabouw have been officially closed. These schools include Kathleen Murray Primary School, Pineview Primary School, Groenberg High School, Umyezo Wama Apile High School and Umyezo Wama Apile Primary School.

Other schools reporting low attendance include Grabouw High School, De Rust Future Academy and Swartberg Secondary.

Over 6 000 learners have been affected.

Statements reportedly made by the ANC Western Cape; Ses’Khona Peoples Movement; the South African Communist Party; the Grabouw Civic Organisation and individuals in their leadership are completely irresponsible and undermining our learners’ constitutional right to education. (SAPA statement attached)

This morning, I therefore laid criminal charges in terms of the SA Schools Act (affidavit attached) against all who are reportedly involved in this action.

I trust that SAPS will act swiftly and decisively to restore order in the community so that teaching and learning can resume as soon as possible.

While we condemn any disruption to schooling at any time during the school year– the disruption of schooling at this critical time of the year is even more concerning.

Primary school learners are currently writing the Annual National Assessments and High School learners are writing their September examinations. Grade 12 learners are writing their September “mock examinations” which are an important assessment tool for both educators and candidates ahead of the National Senior Certificate examinations.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) district officials are working with school management of all the affected schools to ensure that examinations and assessments are rescheduled.

Our priority is to ensure the safety of all learners and teachers.

It is high time that people destroying the opportunities of others are held accountable.