Rustenburg – Another group of learners from Tirelong Secondary School in Kroondal near Rustenburg were kidnapped by a group of people masquerading as parents, the North West department of education said on Wednesday.
The group reportedly arrived in two minibus taxis, a truck and a bakkie at Boons Mega Farm School on Tuesday night.
Boons Mega Farm School is one of three schools accommodating learners from Tirelong in Kroondal after their school was extremely vandalised during the holidays.
"When the perpetrators arrived at the gate they found the security guards and they refused to produce their identities to indicate whether they were genuine parents of learners or not. A commotion ensued when they could not produce proof of identity and they broke the small gate of the school.
"The security succeeded in denying them access to the school. They then blew whistles to give signal to the learners who were inside the hostels," spokesperson Elias Malindi said.
"After the boy learners received the signal, they broke the hostel doors, windows and burglars to force their way out. They moved in numbers forcing and threatening others to leave the school premises.
"Once the 162 learners got out of their hostel they were transported by the perpetrators. The learners were transported in five loads and the last group left around 5am."
North West Education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela condemned the incident and said that the perpetrators should be brought to book.
"As a department we are very disappointed by such a horrible incident that is continuing to raise its ugly head in our boarding schools. This need to be stopped immediately. The people behind these incidents must be arrested. They removed learners from our schools under the pretext of parents when they are not the real parents. We are in possession of video clips to substantiate that these were not parents.
"What is disturbing us more is that they do not take the learners to their homes, they leave them on the streets. They expose the lives of our children to extreme danger. We want the police to arrest everyone involved in this unaccepted practice," Matsemela said.
Ten learners refused to go with the group saying they could not go without the permission of their parents.
This was the second incident in which Tirelong learners were forcefully removed from boarding school.
The first incident happened at Naauwpoort Mega Farm School and 54 learners were abducted.
"A case of malicious damage to property and abduction has been opened with the police. The department has arranged counselling for the remaining learners," she said.
Tirelong Secondary School in Kroondal was vandalised during the school holidays.
Window frames, doors frames, electricity cables, water taps, kitchen utensils and a school roof were removed, making it impossible to welcome learners and a have a productive first day of the academic year on January 12.
Following vandalism at Tirelong, learners were moved to Naauwpoort, Boons and Moedwil Mega Farms Schools.
The decision to move children from Kroondal to other schools, was met with resistance from some parents and children.
They wanted the department to provide mobile classrooms instead of placing children at other schools.