ANGRY residents said they set old classrooms on fire because they were tired of waiting for a new school.
They stormed Manyakatana Primary School in Newington near Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, on Tuesday.
Five of the six mobile classrooms and some fixed classrooms were burnt and a fence was torn down.
Residents said they have been waiting for the basic education department to build a new school. The old school was damaged by violent storms in 2011.
Earlier in the day, they marched to Ximoyi and Machaye high schools and forced pupils out of class, barricading roads with branches, stones and burnt tyres.
Children have not attended school since last Wednesday.
Education spokesman Gerald Sambo said: “Police must put the perpetrators behind bars. The department won’t be able to fix the classrooms as there is no budget allocation for such building.”
He said the department held a meeting last Friday with residents and promised to renovate the school in the 2019/20 financial year. Two additional mobile classrooms will be added.
Police said a case of arson has been opened and five suspects have been arrested. They are facing charges of malicious damage to property and inciting public violence.