Cape Town - Parents at Nomlinganiselo Primary School in Nyanga used their own locks to close the gates of the school on Thursday morning in an effort to stop the principal from getting in.

They said that they were barring the principal from entering the premises. The lockdown is the result of a month of tension between the school’s principal and a group of disgruntled teachers and parents.

Teachers allege that they were shouted at, treated with disrespect in front of their pupils and threatened with dismissal by the principal.

“The principal has been working towards getting rid of the established teachers to make way for family members who he wants to employ at the school.

“We are tired of this and are calling on the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to investigate this matter fully. While this investigation is under way, we want the principal to be suspended,” said Unathi Mhana, a parent at the school.

She said that a meeting between parents, teachers and the principal to discuss the annual budget for the school had led many parents to believe “the budget is worked out in a secretive manner and when it was presented there were irregularities in the figures”. She wanted this matter to be investigated.

Teachers at the school declined to comment when contacted by the Cape Argus.

Principal Bhejle Mzinda said he was waiting for clearance from the education department before speaking directly to the media.

Paddy Attwell, spokesman for the department, said he had been aware of tensions at the school for some time.

“The community have given the WCED a list of allegations against the principal. The WCED is investigating these allegations. The principal will continue to work at the school while the investigation is in process.”

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Cape Argus