THE Democratic Alliance will today open a criminal case against a Hewu Sadtu branch chairwoman who drove her vehicle into a group of pupils and DA leaders, including parliamentarian Lindiwe Mazibuko, on Friday.

The DA’S shadow MEC for education in the province Edmund van Vuuren said while no one was injured, the party viewed the incident as serious.

Van Vuuren will be meeting the party’s provincial executive today to discuss the matter.

“I will open a criminal case against this woman at the Humewood police station in Port Elizabeth on Monday which is near where the meeting with the executive will take place tomorrow [today],” he said.

Despite Mazibuko not wanting to get involved in the matter, Van Vuuren said the party had taken it upon themselves to stop possible similar incidents in the future.

“This woman could have hurt, not only Lindiwe, but the kids who were walking with her. It is an absolute disgrace actions of violence intended to cause bodily harm is still rearing its ugly head in our democratic dispensation,” said Van Vuuren.

The incident occurred in Whittlesea near Queenstown where DA leaders Mazibuko, Van Vuuren and shadow minister of education Annette Lovemore were walking 12km with pupils from Mbekweni Village to highlight the plight of pupils forced to walk long distances to school due to the collapsing scholar transport system.

Honjiswa Mrwebi, who had been driving slowly behind the crowd, suddenly sped into the group forcing Mazibuko and pupils to jump for safety. She claimed the DA was disrupting learning by making pupils late.

Mrwebi, who is also a teacher, later admitted she wanted to knock Mazibuko (or the DA leadership) with her car. Her actions have not gone down well with teachers and parents.

Lunga Mlamleli, a teacher in Centane, described Mrwebi’s actions as barbaric.

“This brings a question about what she is teaching at school as Sadtu will never promote such behaviour. South Africa is a free country and her behaviour was disgusting, barbaric and ridiculous,” said Mlamleli.

ANC provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane also disapproved of Mrwebi’s actions.

“The ANC is against her behaviour. Sadtu must respect the constitution of this country which gives people a right to follow any political persuasion without using violence,” he said yesterday.

Education department superintendent-general Modidima Mannya said although Van Vuuren had raised the matter with him, he will only act once a formal complaint has been made. He added he asked his officials in the Whittlesea education district to calculate the distance walked by pupils in order to come up with a solution.

Sadtu provincial secretary Mncekeleli Ndongeni was not available for comment yesterday. —lindiles@dispatch.co.za