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Yes, there are Covid-19 cases at Soweto school, but department mum on claims teachers, pupils not told

26 June 2020 - 15:26 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Onkgopotse Tiro Primary principal Wandile Kubheka allegedly kept staff members and parents in the dark about the infections for three days.
Onkgopotse Tiro Primary principal Wandile Kubheka allegedly kept staff members and parents in the dark about the infections for three days.
Image: paylessimages / 123RF Stock Photo

Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona has confirmed four Covid-19 cases at Onkgopotse Tiro Primary in Soweto, but remains mum on whether school principal Wandile Kubheka kept staff and parents in the dark about the infections, despite having allegedly known about them since Sunday.

Sources who spoke to TimesLIVE on Thursday alleged Kubheka told staff members about the cases on Wednesday afternoon during a meeting. He allegedly admitted to having known about the infections three days before he broke the news.

Teaching was halted after angry parents fetched their children from the school, fearing for their safety.

Mabona said the departments of education and health will do contact tracing among other staff members at the school, and premises will be sanitised and disinfected.

He said this process usually happens over two days, depending on the size of the areas that require deep cleaning.

A letter issued by the school on Thursday, which has been seen by TimesLIVE, says schooling will be suspended until “all the prerequisite procedures have taken place”.

Thulani Masango, a parent of one of the pupils, told TimesLIVE on Friday that parents were angered by Kubheka, whom they accused of compromising the safety of their children.

“He risked our children's lives and didn't even bother responding to our questions as concerned parents. I don't understand what that was about. Kubheka knew about the cases on Sunday, but sat on the matter for three more days until we found out ourselves. When we asked him why he did this, he did not even respond.”


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