A Joe Slovo man has appeared in court after being accused of threatening to harm teachers and the principal at Milnerton Primary School.
Xolisa Madliwa was asked to leave the school grounds several times because of Covid-19 protocols but refused to do so, and on Tuesday February 23, the school called a security company to remove him and opened a case at Milnerton police station, says Western Cape Department of Education spokeswoman Bronagh Hammond.
Mr Madliwa had left once the security guards had arrived, she said.
Milnerton police spokesman Captain Nopaya Madyibi confirmed that a case of intimidation had been opened, and Mr Madliwa had been warned to appear at court on Thursday, February 25.
Mr Madliwa said that after waiting for more than five hours for his name to be called at court last Thursday, the magistrate had told him his case was “not of importance and should get another date to appear”.
Calls to Cape Town Magistrate’s Court went unanswered.
Mr Madliwa said that after being warned by the police to appear in court he had started going door-to-door in the informal settlements in Joe Slovo to draw up a petition against what he claims is segregation at Milnerton Primary. So far 70 parents had signed the petition and he planned to give it to the WCED when he had 300 signatures, he said.
Mr Madliwa said his clash with Milnerton Primary dated back to November 11 last year when he had hand delivered an application to the school on behalf of the 9-year-old son of a foreigner, Emeka-Oliva Njoku, who had relocated from Khayelitsha.
When Tabletalk spoke to Mr Njoku, he could barely understand what was being said.
Mr Madliwa said that when he had gone to the school on February 10 to check whether the child had been accepted, a receptionist had given him an email address to contact the school and had told him the principal was in a meeting.
“I just wanted to know if the child was accepted or not,” he said.
He had returned to the school again on February 15, but a teacher had refused to check on the application, he said. After waiting an hour, he had spoken to the principal who had agreed to look at the application if he resubmitted it.
“I was told to deliver the application to the principal, which I did the next day, and yet again I was turned away,” he said.
The principal had told him to apply to Marconi Beam Primary School in Joe Slovo, he said. However, Mr Madliwa said the boy could not speak Xhosa and would have had trouble fitting in at Marconi Beam Primary. Instead he had applied to West Riding Primary School near Table View but had missed their deadline for applications.
The boy, who is at home at the moment, has attended Springdale Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain since Grade 1.
Mr Madliwa has complained to the WCED and Premier Alan Winde. All efforts to help the boy had fallen on deaf ears, he said, accusing the school and the WCED of negligence and vowing “not to give up without a fight”.
However, Ms Hammond said the school had no record of an application for the child made in 2020. The principal had issued another application form for consideration, but the school’s admissions had been finalised in July of 2020, she said. Furthermore, a child’s parent or legal guardian had to apply, not a family friend.
“Mr Madliwa is not the parent nor the guardian,” she said.
A school could recommend other schools closer to the child’s home, but Mr Madliwa had become very aggressive with the staff and had since made defamatory and insulting comments about the school’s staff on Facebook , she said.
Mr Madliwa has since deleted his Facebook account.
“He allegedly threatened the school staff which does not guarantee admission to the school,” Ms Hammond said.
If the late application in November had been made, she said, the child would have been placed on a waiting list as the school had already reached its capacity.