After being excluded for two years, Wandile, 8, finally starts school

Wandile Shelembe used to play in the yard while his sister went to school – now he has finally been admitted to grade 1.
Image: GroundUp/Nokulunga Majola

After being denied his right to education for two years, Wandile Shelembe, 8, of Ntuzuma, north of Durban, started grade 1 on Tuesday.

Wandile was denied access by three schools in the area because he doesn’t have a birth certificate. The soon to be nine-year-old boy finished creche in 2018 and has never been to school.

Londiwe Mnguni, Wandile’s mother, told GroundUp that their Wendy house had been gutted by fire on July 26 2018, destroying everything they owned – including their documents.

Wandile’s sister Akhona managed to get access to school using an immunisation card and is in grade 7 this year – but not Wandile.

“I tried everything in my power as a parent to make sure that he gets into school, but all my efforts were fruitless. He used to cry his lungs out every time he saw his sister go to school,” said Mnguni.

GroundUp found out about Wandile’s story last year and tried to get comment from the KwaZulu-Natal department of education – without success.

Last week GroundUp tried again and on Monday the KZN department said Wandile would be admitted to school while his birth certificate is being sorted out.

Read more of the story on TimesLIVE




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