‘Hold education officials personally responsible’

2011-03-29 14:37

Northern Cape education officials should be held personally responsible for incompetent actions, the school governing body Fedsas said today.

“The Northern Cape was the province with the dubious record of having lost the most court cases involving inappropriate appointments of school principals and other staff members,” said Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) CEO Paul Colditz.

He was reacting to the Northern Cape education department backing down after it ignored the Upington High School governing body and appointed a teacher who was not suited for the task as deputy head at the school.

The matter was recently settled out of court.

Colditz said this was yet another instance where legal action was necessary because a provincial education department thought it was above the law.

“Maybe Northern Cape education officials have to go back to school since they are simply not learning their lesson.”

Colditz said Fedsas was glad the school governing body had succeeded in defending the rights of the school and pupils, but that the problem had not been solved.

Fedsas said despite court judgments giving clear guidelines on the handling of appointments, the Northern Cape education department acted as if the rulings did not exist.

“And taxpayers have to finance the incompetence of these government officials,” said Colditz.

Fedsas said a recent High Court in Pretoria ruling warned that the time had come for government officials who ignored legal principals to be held personally responsible for legal costs.

“Fedsas would advise its members who are involved in similar court cases to request the court to issue a personal order as to costs against officials who think they are above the law,” said Colditz.

Fedsas is a voluntary association of school governing bodies of public schools and has 1200 members. 

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