East London – Two Eastern Cape families want answers after two 18-year-old learners were brutally assaulted and burnt with an iron allegedly in their school dormitory.
The incident allegedly occurred at Advent Comprehensive High School in Maluti on the night of May 27 in the boys dormitory.
The families said that the two learners were assaulted allegedly by a group of nine people who accused them of stealing a tablet.
The families claim their sons were beaten up and burnt with a hot electric iron on their backs and arms.
The learners’ parents, who asked not to be identified in protecting the identity of the victims, accused the school headmaster Mandisi Mbobo of trying to conceal the gravity of the incident.
An East London parent of the one of the boys said: "I was contacted by the principal [Mbobo] around 4pm and (he) told me that there was a fight among pupils and my son got injured but there’s nothing to worry about.
"I discovered when I contacted him that something is wrong and I visited the school on the second day and find my son in principal’s bed and breakfast.
I was shocked because I could see how bad the incident was."
The parents of the second pupil who are based in Mthatha said the East London family informed them about the state of their son.
"I am very disappointed with the manner the school handled the matter. The principal was dishonest with us, he tried to prevent us from coming and see what has happened," the boy’s mother said.
The two families said they intended to have their children transferred to another school.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Khaya Thonjeni confirmed that a case had been opened with the police. He said six suspects aged between 20 and 35 years were arrested while three other suspects were still at large.
He said the school principal and the boarding school master were also under investigation. Thonjeni said the police received information that the principal had misinformed parents that it was a minor incident, while one of the boys was kept at his B&B.
The Department of Education said they were aware of the incident and had launched an investigation.
African News Agency (ANA)