Educational material destroyed as petrol bomb causes fierce blaze in Mangaung school

File picture: A man uses a cellphone to take pictures of a burning school office.

File picture: A man uses a cellphone to take pictures of a burning school office.

Published Jan 6, 2023


Johannesburg - R300 000 worth of new Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSM) were burnt at Gonyane Primary School in Mangaung in the early hours of Friday when a petrol bomb was thrown into the school.

Free State Education spokesperson Howard Ndaba confirmed and condemned the incident.

“Attacks on children's school facilities are unacceptable and can be a grave violation of children’s rights to education.

“The school is a full section 21 status. A used petrol bomb was found next to the burnt stationery.”

The ANC is also currently in Mangaung conducting part 2 of its 55th national conference ahead of its birthday on Sunday, celebrating 111 years since its formation in 1912. The January 8 celebrations will be held at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.

The department revealed that LTSM for the 2023 school year was damaged in the school hall as a result but has not revealed the full extent of the damages caused by the petrol bombs, which were also thrown into the administration block of the school.

“School facilities should always be a safe place for every child, where children can learn, play and grow to reach their full potential.”

“We call on communities to protect schools from all forms of criminality at all times and under all circumstances.”

Furthermore, the department has revealed that a number of schools have become the target of criminals breaking in, vandalising and stealing school property due to load shedding.

“The motive for torching Gonyane Primary School is not yet known. However, police are investigating the matter,” said Ndaba.

The Free State department of education has also condemned this violent act which takes place only days before inland school are expected to reopen schools.