Lethukuthula Primary in Matsulu yesterday morning became the third school to go up in flames in Mpumalanga this month.
The school’s 711 pupils, many of whom should be writing two mid-year exam papers, had to be sent home.
Their parents were unaware of the crisis and had already left for work.
Four of the school’s classrooms and a staff room were burnt by unknown people.
A resident who lives nearby told Daily Sun they believed the school was torched by people who were protesting on Monday.
They burnt tyres and barricaded the main entrance to the area, demanding new roads.
“No one was able to move around on Monday. Even buses and taxis were not operating. The guys threatened to carry on after police disbanded them.
“We’re disappointed by this act because it’s clear the culprits don’t care about future generations,” said the woman.
She appealed to other local schools to hire security guards to look after their schools day and night.
On Thursday, Thabana villagers in Siyabuswa, who were unhappy with the outcomes of by-elections on Wednesday, torched two schools in the area.
Education MEC Sibusiso Malaza visited the schools on Sunday to assess the damage.
Education spokesman Jasper Zwane said it was worrying that kids between the ages of seven and 11 were sent home to be alone and parents couldn’t make prior arrangements.
“We wonder if those behind this understand the gravity of the damage they’re causing to the future of this country.”
Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Mtsholi Bhembe appealed to anyone who might have information to help the police bring the culprits to book.
A case of arson was opened. No arrests have been made yet.