Pretoria - The South African National Civic Organisation, People's Voice and parents of learners from Hans Kekana High School yesterday stormed into the Temba Magistrate’s Court in Hammanskraal to show support for a resident who was arrested on Friday.
According to them, the school principal opened a case against the parent, Boyce Makgopa, for intimidation. He had confronted the principal on why learners who did not pay a R500 donation were denied entry to the school.
The case was not enrolled and was pending investigation, and thus Makgoba was released after appearing briefly.
Makgoba said his mistake was asking for the budget plan of the school and wanting to engage with the school governing body.
"We only wanted the financial statements of the year 2020 and 2021,“ he said.
The parents want the school to account for all donations and show them how the money has been utilised.
Parent Bridgett Falo said they were worried about their children missing school because of the non-payment of the donation: "A donation is not a must, but our children are suffering because of not having paid the needed donation.
"When you have not paid a donation, your child is not given stationery or their progress report," said Falo.
The parents said that on Wednesday they had all gone to the school to address the issue with the school management.
"Parents are not working, how will they afford the R500 donation, school uniform and other things needed at the school? How will parents who have more than one child afford everything needed at school?“ asked another parent.
"There are reports at the office that were not given to learners because of not paying the donation."
Florinah Kekana, a parent who does not have a child at Hans Kekana High School, was there in solidarity with the concerned parents, and she said she was hurt by this as the Majananeng community was ravaged by unemployment.
"I do not have a child there, but as a parent I can feel their pain. No child should miss school for not paying a donation," said Kekana.
The donation was R300 in the past, but it increased to R500, and the parents said the government should be honest with them about paying school fees indirectly.
They said they had been told donations were to be made annually, and were for helping the school with maintenance and stationery for learners.
The Gauteng Education Department had yet to comment.