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Twist in Joburg principal’s hearing

Johannesburg -

The education MEC is not the only one with authority to overturn a school admission decision, a disciplinary hearing heard on Wednesday.

The department head held the same right, said Qiniso Zwane, co-ordinator of appeals at the Gauteng education department.

He was giving evidence in a hearing in Johannesburg against Rivonia Primary School principal Carol Drysdale, who has been charged with misconduct and insubordination.

Drysdale has pleaded not guilty.

She allegedly failed to follow a Gauteng education department instruction to admit a Grade 1 pupil to the school.

The school placed the child on a waiting list, saying classes were full and the application was late.

Drysdale said she had not known about the regulation which granted the head of department the power to overturn an admission decision.

“My client would have followed the instructions had she known,” said Dion Masher, for Drysdale.

Hearing chairman Terry Motau, said this was a new turn in the matter.

In Tuesday's proceedings, Zwane said the school did not follow its own admission policy regarding the pupil.

He said the school was not full as Drysdale had stated.

Masher said the admission policy also stated a grade could not have more than 120 pupils, and the five Grade 1 classes totalled 120 pupils.

The matter went to the High Court in Johannesburg, which ruled that it was up to the provincial department, not the school governing body, to determine the school's maximum enrolment.

The hearing continues. - Sapa

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