Parents gun for head

2016-02-25 06:00
 Angry parents protesting outside the school in Site B.                                                        PHOTO :groundup

Angry parents protesting outside the school in Site B. PHOTO :groundup

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Concerned parents picketed Sosebenza Primary School in Site B on Tuesday, following allegations that the school principal, Vusumzi Soyeye, is corrupt and disrespectful towards colleagues and parents.

They also alleged that he misused school funds for personal gain.

Soyeye has vehemently denied these claims.

He said the education department had investigated the matter and found nothing untoward and that this was a ploy to kick him out of the school.

“I am being paid by the department every month and I am not a greedy person,” he told the protesting parents.

Parents also expressed discontent with the School Governing Body (SGB), claiming that it was defending the principal.

They demanded the SGB to be recalled. They want to elect an interim board to run the school.

Tempers flared when parents stormed the gate of the school unannounced and demanded that the principal respond to the allegations that have been levelled against him.

While some parents chanted that he is corrupt, others defended him and arguments broke out.

The principal was blamed for the deteriorating state of the school.

Matters escalated when parents chanted “Lenja mayihambe”, refering to the principal.

Desmond Phaliso, a parent, said it appeared that the whole management of the school was corrupt and there are factions within the school.

He added that some are on the side of the principal while others sided with his deputy.

The debacle started after Noluthando Hamza, a grade 4 teacher, was suspended from the SGB about three weeks ago.

Hamza said she had noted that the SGB was employing people without consulting the full SGB and that some meetings were held behind the backs of the whole committee.

“I wrote a letter to the SGB stating my concerns about what they were doing. I said there is a communication break-down and that needed to be resolved.

They wrote back a letter in which they invited me to a meeting.

They said I should write a letter explaining what I meant when I said there is a communication break-down, which directive I I refused to adhere to.

I said here I am. Why can’t I tell you in person what I meant by that?” She says the SGB refused to listen to her and informed her that she was suspended at once.

Hamza alleged that the school principal twice man-handled, blocking her way when she wanted to attend a meeting of the SGB. She said that the principal had mobilised a group of parents to chase her out of the school and had spread rumours that she is not attending her classes.

“The principal is corrupt. The principal said that I should not be allowed to enter the school premises and I fear for my safety at the moment.
I have been teaching here since 2003 and this is harrowing.
Parents and some members of the SGB came to me said that I should leave the class as they were instructed by the principal, but I refused and they persisted and that is when I screamed for help.
This has led to a decline in the school pass rate because we have been subjected to his abusive rule for many years now. He must leave the school,” she said.
Deputy principal, Thembinkosi Mguye said this corruption has been going on since 2013 and they have been subjected to the principal’s unruly behaviour for some time now.
“A meeting set for Sunday last week between the parents and principal, did not take place, because the principal left with the keys.”
The meeting was supposed to address allegations of corruption and misuse of funds.
The Western Cape Education Department’s Director of Communication, Paddy Attwell, said the department’s district office is aware of the protest.
Attwell said similar allegations had been made before but the department investigated thoroughly and found that there were no grounds for them. “Our officials will continue to work with all concerned to address underlying tensions within the school community,” he said.

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