News24

Klofies parents ask ANC for help

2009-05-08 09:50

Pretoria - Enraged Waterkloof High School parents have asked for the help of the ANC chief whip in the Gauteng legislature, following the hold-up over the suspension of the school's principal, vice-principal and the head of finances.

Chief whip Joggie Boers confirmed on Thursday that he had spoken to officials in the department, who assured him that steps will be taken on Friday.

"A recommendation to place the relevant parties on leave, pending the investigation, will be signed by the head of education and will probably be executed by the district office no later than Friday."

More than three weeks have passed since pupils and staff of the school were informed that school principal Dr Christo Becker and vice-principal André Eloff, will be handing in their resignations to the Gauteng department of education.

This came after a forensic audit ordered by the governing body found prima facie proof of irregularities with the school's finances, involving an amount of about R5m.

However, so far nothing has come of the planned resignations, as well as the governing body's urgent request to the department of education to place Becker, Eloff and Hester van der Merwe, the school's head of finances, on leave pending the investigation.

They haven't been at the school since April 15.

Eloff arrived for work

Parents and pupils were furious when Eloff showed up out of the blue this week to address the pupils.

Among other things, he said he had done nothing to feel ashamed about, but actually many things to be proud of.

Eloff also said many pupils, parents and teachers were kind to him during the period he was at home.

However, Beeld was told that he and certain individuals almost came to blows when he arrived at the school on Wednesday.

Eloff said it was not within the power of the governing body to place him on leave, since he is in the service of the education department.

He accused the media of writing all kinds of nonsense, and claims that his dignity, his family, wife and children, have been destroyed.

He also told the pupils: "Tough times don't last, but tough people do." Beeld was told that Becker is on sick leave, while Van der Merwe applied for leave.

Duncan Hindle, director-general of education, has said he is aware of the problems at the school.

The national department can only intervene if the province requests this, said Hindle.