Lupane Villagers' Trial Drags On

By Dumisani Nyoni

Lupane, November 02, 2016 – THE trial of four Lupane villagers accused of storming a local secondary school demanding the ouster of a non-Ndebele school head June this year, still drags on, with the presiding magistrate on Wednesday further postponing trial to November 9 this year.

The four villagers, who are part of the School Development Council (SDC) at Mlamuli Secondary School, were arrested by police in June for demanding the removal of the school’s headmistress, Millet Bonyongwe.

They were accusing her of being responsible for the poor pass rate at the school as she was not conversant with the local Ndebele language. 

Their trial kicked-off on Tuesday at Lupane Magistrate Court and was supposed to be held today (Wednesday) for continuation but their lawyer, Dumisani Dube, sought for further postponement to November 9.

Prior to that, the four had asked their matter to be referred to the Constitutional Court (Concourt), but lost it after the presiding magistrate, Ndumo Masuku insisted that they should answer to the violence charges they were facing.

The secessionist Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) is keenly following the trial in support of the villagers.

Bonyongwe is among many non-Ndebele speaking educators deployed to the pre-dominantly Ndebele region who are being accused of undermining the language by conversing with pupils, some in their elementary schooling, in Shona.

Villagers insist if the teachers want to be welcome in the area, they must at least show interest in learning the local language.