Gauteng Education ordered to reinstate Parktown Boys principal, give him past 6 months’ salary
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Johannesburg – The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) has ordered the Gauteng Department of Education to give Parktown Boys’ High School principal Malcolm Williams his job back and also pay him for the six months that he did not work.
In its arbitration award between the department and Malcolm Williams, the ELRC ordered that Williams be re-instated to his post on the same terms and conditions as before his December 2020 dismissal.
MEC Panyaza Lesufi expressed disappointment at the order that Williams return to work.
“We are not fully happy about the outcome of the case but also realise that this matter has been dragging on for too long, negatively affecting all who are affected. In that light, we will look for advice from the experts with a view to finding a last resolution to the matter,” Lesufi said.
The department fired Malcolm in December last year, nine months after the death of Grade 8 pupil Enock Mpianzi, who drowned at the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge in the North West.
The department said Williams had failed to ensure a roll call was maintained throughout the trip and also undertook the trip without prior approval from the head of department.
The department said investigations into Enoch’s death led to Williams being charged on three counts of misconduct – two of which were upheld following the disciplinary proceedings.
“The two charges were for allowing the trip to take place without the department’s approval while the second one related to his failure to ensure that a correct roll call was taken on the day of the incident. The last charge related to Williams’ culpability in the death of Mpianzi.
The department said while it was disappointed with the outcome of the ELRC processes, it was studying the decision and seeking legal counsel on the matter.
Mpianzi family lawyer, Wikus Steyl of Ian Levitt Attorneys, said the news of Williams getting his job back was upsetting.
"The family cannot believe that the principal, after having been found guilty of misconduct relating to the death of their child, can return to the school as its principal and be responsible for the safety and well-being of the learners after he was part of the cause of Enock's death,“ he said.
Williams was expected back at work on July 1.