Principal’s return celebrated

2012-12-05 00:00

A PRINCIPAL suspended from an Umbumbulu school in August was reinstated yesterday, much to the community’s delight.

A warm welcome awaited Khulabebuka High School principal Premilla Deonath, who was carried from her car into the school by happy parents.

But charges of maladministration and mismanagement of staff, levelled by the ­Education Department, have not been dismissed.

“I was very happy to see how much the people in this community support and love me, because when I got to the school I couldn’t even walk inside because they just carried me all the way to the office,” said Deonath.

She said she was supposed to have resumed her job again in October, but she only received notice on Monday to return to work.

“I got a call on Monday saying I should go to the Department of Education’s head office, and that’s where I was given the notification of my reinstatement, but it was dated October 29 and there was no explanation for that. When I asked … about the charges, they said they still stood, but they also didn’t know what would happen next.”

Deonath said she believed her suspension was motivated by a personal vendetta by some colleagues.

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa confirmed Deonath’s reinstatement.

He said the charges still stood, but was unable to say when the matter would be resolved.

“Her suspension has been lifted, but that doesn’t mean the department has dropped charges against her. I can’t say why the suspension has been lifted or when the matter will be fully addressed, since the head of department, who is dealing with the case, is currently overseas,” said Mlotshwa.

Thulisile Shanga, the school’s administration clerk, said she was overjoyed when she heard Deonath would be continuing with her duties this week.

“We are all excited here, because things were at a standstill and we were having people telling us that if she’s not back when the schools reopen next year, they will not enrol their children at our school.

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