Parents stop classes once again



Published Sep 2, 2014


Johannesburg - Pupils at Ntji Mothapo Primary School in Limpopo were prevented from attending classes by their parents again on Monday.

Parents barricaded the school entrance with stones and a burning tyre. They first blocked them from going to school in January, leading the pupils to lose four school days.

On Monday, parents demonstrated after Friday’s decision by the provincial Education Department to dissolve the school governing body (SGB).

The parents claimed the department had installed people who had no children at the school as new SGB members.

At the centre of the lengthy battle is the principal Ngoako Rapaledi and representatives of the parents on the disbanded SGB on the one side, and three teachers who represent the teachers on the other.

The three teachers have the support of their 29 colleagues, who are members of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu).

Parents say Sadtu members come to school carrying firearms, assault pupils and disregard the principal.

The teachers accuse Rapaledi of being an autocrat and of misusing school funds.

A 2011 report by the department’s Capricorn district office recommended he be charged with misconduct. It found that he had fiddled with SGB minutes, resulting in the payment of two SGB members unduly.

He has denied wrongdoing.

Instead of implementing recommendations of the findings, the department instituted another probe in January.

On Monday, Paena Galane, the department spokesman, said the latest report implicating some SGB members in financial mismanagement and maladministration would be tabled to parents at a meeting on Thursday. He defended the decision to dissolve the SGB.

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The Star

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