Cape Town -
South Peninsula High School principal Brian Isaacs has had to stop making ‘statements’ on his school’s public announcement system following a court decision earlier this month.
Isaacs appeared in the municipal court, sitting at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court, on April 17 where he was cautioned to use the school’s intercom exclusively for school-related announcements.
He is not allowed to make any political statements over the system and must also refrain from using the public-address speakers until after the next court date on June 27.
The case followed after “noise” complaints from some residents.
“The charge against the accused is contravening Section 5(a) read with Section 1 and 9 of the Noise Control Regulation PN 627/1998, promulgated under the Environmental Conservation Act 73 of 1989”, said Lungiswa James, mayoral committee member for health.
Isaacs, who chose to defend himself in the court case, said he had pleaded not guilty to the charge and would lodge an appeal if necessary.
He said this was not the first time he had had to appear in court over the school’s public announcement system.
He said a previous case was “thrown out” because a witness did not show up for court.
Isaacs said the school had used the system since 1984, but the first complaint was only received in 2000.
According to Isaacs those who had complained recently were unreasonable.
He said the system had been set to its lowest volume and at most was used for 25 minutes a day.
He said that when gathered in the quad 1 000 pupils would not be able to hear him if he didn’t use the system.
“I believe (silencing the system) is an unfair infringement on rights. The system is for the students, not for the residents.”
Ward councillor Carol Bew said residents had complained that the system was a noise nuisance.
“I think there will be a fair outcome to the case.
All that we require is that PA system is removed.”
She said toning the volume down would not help.
“We just want the noise to stop.”