Ferrum High: action against teacher

2012-07-04 00:00

THE teacher who led a noisy picket outside Newcastle’s Ferrum High School after her daughter and another pupil were fed baby food laced with saliva, is in trouble.

KwaZulu-Natal Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said appropriate action would be taken against Khosi Mbuli, who had alleged that racism was behind an initiation ceremony for new members of the school’s netball team, masterminded by two white pupils.

A departmental investigation established that the incident was not racially motivated and recommended that Mbuli — who teaches Zulu and history — be disciplined for arranging and participating in the demonstration.

Parents blew vuvuzelas and chanted outside the school gate.

However, learning was not disrupted.

The department report found that a third potential victim was a white pupil who was absent on the day.

It also found that the two perpetrators were not aware of her not being at school and that pupils of all races had been present when the bottles had been spat into.

“There is no objective basis to conclude that the spitting was racially motivated,” read the report.

The investigation further recommended that all initiation practices at Ferrum be stopped.

The netball team — together with their coaches — were advised to become involved in a team building exercise to restore trust and respect among team members.

This should happen after criminal charges against the main perpetrator, the captain of the team, had been finalised.

Newcastle police spokesperson Captain Shoes Magudulela said she had been referred to the Khulisa programme, which engages crime prevention, personal and community development programmes, as her sentence for crimen injuria.

It was also recommended that the School Governing Body (SGB) and school management team receive coaching on the management of disciplinary procedures.

Nomkhosi Zulu, the sister of the second victim, said she felt that justice had prevailed, but would be happier if the perpetrators apologised to her sister.

The father of a perpetrator said he was happy the ordeal was over and did not have any further comment.

The school had imposed different suspensions on the two, which the investigation found “extremely lenient and favoured the perpetrators over the victims”.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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