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Durban - The principal of a Chesterville high school was suspended on Monday after continued protests by pupils and governing body members against the reinstatement of 12 teachers.
Last year the school governing body (SGB) brought forward allegations of misconduct involving three teachers who were said to be exchanging sexual favours with pupils for improved marks.
The teachers, as well as nine others who stood in support of them and an administrative clerk, were chased out of the school.
Last week the Durban High Court ordered the teachers to return to work but the protests continued, disrupting teaching and learning.
Spokesman for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Muzi Mahlambi, said that despite the court order, principal Ntokozo Ngobese continued to follow SGB orders and not those of the court or department.
“I have not read the charges against him but he is acting against his employers,” he said.
Mahlambi said Ngobese was taking directives from the SGB when he should be reinstating the teachers and allowing teaching to begin again at the school.
“This is dangerous.
“What if teachers had been shot and died during the protests?
“It is criminal to incite violence and police will be investigating this. Criminal charges might be made,” he said, adding that the 12 teachers would be sent to other schools and replacements sourced for the Chesterville school.
“We’re going to struggle to place teachers at this school,” Mahlambi said.
He said an acting deputy principal would be appointed in the interim and the principal suspended while investigations continued.
He said it was still to be decided if the SGB would be dissolved.
The department head would make this decision.
The SGB chairwoman, Ntombifikile Makhudu, said they would call a meeting today with parents to inform them about the department’s decision.
She said a way forward would be reached after a meeting with parents.
“As the principal won’t be here, we will give letters to learners to take to their parents in the morning,” Makhudu said.
“We can’t say much at this stage; as much as we don’t go along with the department’s decision it is for us to listen to what they will have to say.”