Parents deny that racism motivates their move to block the principal from starting work at Assegai Primary in Wentworth. Picture: Thobeka Ngema
Durban -  The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education and members of the Assegai Primary school governing body are headed for round two in court later this week as some parents continue to reject the school’s newly appointed principal.

Kwazi Mthethwa, the department’s spokesperson, confirmed that it would bring an application to have some of the SGB school governing body (SGB) members held in contempt for continuing to prevent Sharon Ndlovu from assuming her duties.

Last month, Acting High Court Judge Feisal Abraham ordered police to intervene if protesting parents try to lock down the school again.

The branch secretary of teachers' union Sadtu, Bonga Mbambo, said Ndlovu was on Wednesday last week prevented from assuming her duties by a group of parents. 

“Every time they hear that she is going to the school they block the gates. The department has the duty to ensure that she assumes her duties and that she works in an environment where she will be safe,” Mbambo said.

Sadtu believes the actions of the protesters are racist. 

The district director, Bhekizenzo Henry Ntuli, had told the court he believed the protesters’ actions were motivated by nepotism and racism.

“The distinct impression I have gained… is that they do not want Ms Ndlovu to take up the post because she is not a long-standing educator in the particular school and because she is African,” he said.

However, the parents have denied racism claims, saying they were only concerned that proper processes were not followed when Ndlovu was appointed.

The parents were back at the school on Monday.

This was confirmed by an SGB member who however said the aim was not to prevent anyone from entering. 

Clint Leverton, the deputy chairperson of the SGB, refused to comment.

Mthethwa said the department would ensure education was no longer disrupted.