Theresa Naicker

DURBAN - THE Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal has vowed to use “litigational means” against Hopeville Primary School’s governing body if it incites parents to forcefully remove Theresa Naicker from the school.

Naicker, a teacher who was on sick leave for 1 522 days, returned to the school a day before the June holidays.

The Sunday Tribune has seen a letter, signed by SLN Kheswa, the department’s acting Pinetown District Director, dated July 24, 2018, which warned the school’s governing body (SGB) against forcing Naicker out of the school.

“The district office would like to note that it is very disturbing that the SGB has threatened to incite parents to forcibly remove Mrs Naicker. This is an illegal act and the department will not hesitate to use litigational means against the SGB,” read the letter.

It went on to say, “the department is Mrs Naicker’s employer, and any movement of staff will be in accordance with our policies”.

Naicker is currently teaching at the Phoenix school despite being found to have falsified a doctor’s note while she was on sick leave. This has raised the ire of some parents, teachers and the SGB, which called for her head.

Despite the department’s warning, the SGB’s chairperson Clayton Joseph was unfazed, saying they stood by their decision that Naicker should be sacked because of the cloud hanging over her.

“The department is giving us the runaround and has not been decisive with this matter.

“According to the principal, the matter has now been handed over to the district manager,” he said.

Joseph said they scheduled a meeting with the school principal, “because we do not want Naicker in that school.”

“It is unfortunate that the process is dragging on, purely because the department has failed to take a decision. We want justice for our children. The post has been vacant for 15 years.

“Even when Naicker was found guilty of forging the sick note the department dragged its feet and instead of firing her, she was deployed to another position,” he said.

Prior to her return to the school, Naicker worked at the department’s human resources division. She was deployed there after the department discovered she falsified a doctor’s note.

Joseph said they would continue to fight to ensure Naicker was removed from the school.

The DA’s George Mari, who has been at the forefront, calling for the teacher’s axeing said: “We don’t want the teacher at the school. We are going to fight until the department shows her the door

"She is useless and will not add any value to our children at the school.”

Mari said if the department continued to drag its feet, “We are going to march to the school and remove the teacher ourselves.”

Kwazi Mthethwa, spokesperson of the department of education, said they were waiting for Naicker’s appeal to be concluded before they took a decision.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE