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Heathfield High in the firing line again after a fundraising event was swarmed by law enforcement

Heathfield High fundraising event. Picture Supplied

Heathfield High fundraising event. Picture Supplied

Published Dec 7, 2021


Cape Town - Heathfield High School and its principal Wesley Neumann are in the firing line again after the school’s fundraising event was stopped by the City’s law enforcement officers at the weekend following a noise complaint.

The school could also not produce a permit allowing it to host the fundraiser.

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Heathfield High was given a R2 000 fine or must appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court today.

Neumann said the school had a 60th anniversary programme planned, but unfortunately due to the lockdown levels and Covid-19 it was restricted in holding it.

“This was the first opportunity for the school to launch something and we called it a community concert, where families can come over. It was also a fundraiser for the school,” Neumann said.

They applied to the City for permission and sent all the necessary documentation, he said. “However, there were one or two challenges, where we could not give the City all that they wanted because we just did not have resources, Neumann said.”

Metro police spokesperson Ruth Solomons said officers went to the school on Saturday to attend to a noise complaint. They asked Neumann for a permit to host the event but he was not in possession of one, she said.

City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the events permit office could not issue a permit due to non-compliance with the requirements for a permit.

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The organisers did not have a detailed medical plan or confirmation from a medical service provider to undertake work and there was no detailed security plan, vendor layout plan, and certificates of acceptability for food vendors.

Also, there was no emergency evacuation plan, confirmation of public liability insurance and the event organiser did not have a police risk grading certificate, Tyhalibongo said.

“The permit office was in constant communication with the school about the required documents. However, these were not produced by the cut-off time on Friday,” he said.

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Tyhalibongo said the documents were required as stipulated in the events by-law 2016, which dealt with safety at events with more than 200 participants.

“The event in question was to host 610 people,” he said.

Neumann recently made headlines after he was faced with six charges following his refusal to reopen the school amid the Covid-19 infection peak last year. He was later found guilty and fired.

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His case appeal application is under consideration by Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education, Khalid Sayed said: "It cannot be correct that when our schools are so much in need of funds and while the MEC always complains about lack of funds, that when schools do fundraising initiatives their requests to hold these events are rejected at the last minute," he said.

Schäfer said Sayed seemingly does not understand different spheres of government but she would like to know when the permit was applied for and what the reasons for the refusal were, in order to discuss it with the City.