Message alleging schools will reopen later due to Mandela Day fake - Education dept

The Department of Basic Education has distanced itself from a message circulating on social media platforms that the reopening of schools for the third term will be delayed due to the upcoming Mandela Day.

The message, which is signed as coming from the office of the Presidency, said that the reopening of schools will be moved to 19 July due to Mandela Day on 18 July.

On Sunday, department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said the message was false and should be ignored as it had caused much confusion in the basic education sector.

"This malicious social media message is therefore contrary to what both our late leaders stood for. We would advise that those who receive the message to inform the sender that it is fake news and delete the message to ensure that further confusion is averted," said Mhlanga in a statement. 

He said the schools would resume on 17 July, as per the school calendar approved two years ago, and added that the message was not official communication from the Presidency as purported.

"The originators sought to create anxiety and uncertainty in our schools."

"The department has official channels of communication with all our schools, and does not communicate such important information via social media."

Mhlanga said the department expects all learners and educators to report for duty as scheduled in order to commence the third term without any further delays.

"The Mandela and Sisulu centenary celebrations will proceed without causing disruptions in schools. Both Mandela and Sisulu were committed to playing their part to ensure that all young people in South Africa access education without disturbances," he added.