KZN principal investigated over allegations he withdrew R200 000 from school's bank account
The principal and the primary school have not been named as the Department of Education is investigating the allegations.
The chairperson of the school governing body (SGB) said they noticed irregularities during their mid-year financial meeting last year.
“We noticed that an educator, who resigned three months earlier, was still receiving her wage, which was being paid from the school’s bank account.
“We questioned the principal, and he said the teacher was still being paid a salary, which she would deposit back in the school account.
“However, when we questioned the educator a few days later, she said the principal requested she withdraw the money from her bank account and drop the cash off at his home.”
The chairperson claimed that during this time, the principal gave the educator R9 900 to deposit in the school’s account, which she did.
The educator subsequently submitted a written statement on what allegedly transpired to the SGB.
The SGB then decided to look into the school’s financial records.
“We requested a meeting with the principal in November, but he got sick and was on leave until January. During this time, the school bills had to be paid.
“The secretary gave me the bank password, and I noticed that as much as R200 000 was withdrawn from January 2019, with transactions of R42 000 and R67 000 in cash.”
The chairperson said the money was also allegedly withdrawn during the December school holidays.
“We were concerned. As the SGB, we should have been consulted about unauthorised funds leaving the account.”
He claimed there were only cash withdrawals.
The chairperson said he approached the principal again and they were not provided with receipts or paperwork for what the money was used for.
“What’s upsetting is that the school owes about R200 000 for utility bills. We could have paid off the debt and fixed the toilets, repaired the windows and tarred the sandy areas.”
The SGB and the principal met with an official from the department on Thursday.
However, the financial records were missing.
“These books are crucial to every school. It tells you what funds went where. I have seen where the books and money are kept. You cannot break into that area.”
Vee Gani, the chairperson of the Parents Association of KZN, said he was told about the alleged irregularities a while back and advised the SGB to follow the necessary protocols.
“It’s concerning when we hear of mismanagement of funds at schools.
“Our parents work hard for money to ensure their kids get an education and when we hear allegations of money being handled irresponsibly, it’s concerning.
“We demanded the department investigate the allegations and the necessary action must be taken, if need be.”
He said the chairperson and the SGB’s vice-chairperson were allegedly intimidated to prevent the investigation going ahead.
“We reported this to the authorities and requested stringent action be taken against the perpetrators.”
Kwazi Mthethwa, a spokesperson for the department in KZN, said: “If the department is investigating allegations, that’s normal and we wouldn’t want to disturb such processes.
“Every employee deserves to be treated with professionalism.”
The principal declined to comment, and the educator could not be reached for comment.