Principal suspended

2017-11-08 06:01
Smanga Ntlola, suspended principal of the Tjhebelopele Primary School.

Smanga Ntlola, suspended principal of the Tjhebelopele Primary School.

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The Free State Department of Education has begun cracking the whip on the Tjhebelopele Primary School located in Phase 6, Bloemfontein.

The department has suspended principal Smanga Ntlola in its process of clearing issues at the trouble-ridden school.

Howard Ndaba, provincial departmental spokesperson, has confirmed that Ntlola has been suspended indefinitely as part of the departmental investigation. He says the department is probing a string of allegations of dysfunctionality and maladministration at the school, relating to accountability by Ntlola.

Ndaba says Ntlola was served with a suspension letter on Thursday (02/11), adding that one of the two deputy principals has been appointed as acting principal.

“The acting principal will be in charge until the investigation is complete, as well as the outcome. Ntlola’s suspension is to ensure investigation into these alleged transgressions is conducted without prejudice,” he says.

Ndaba says there was consultation to inform stakeholders, including the school governing body (SGB) and the management, about the principal’s suspension.

“His suspension will not negatively affect the progress at school as the department will ensure smooth running as part of its obligation.”

Ntlola held the same position at the Vulamasango Secondary School and the Nzame Primary School in Bloemfontein. His suspension comes two months after angry parents.

Who are gravely concerned over apparent dysfunctionality, invaded the premises on 8 September, resulting in chaos.

Allegations over disarray range from Ntlola’s failure to hold staff meetings with teachers, to the abuse of funds of the feeding scheme for less fortunate children and absenteeism among some teachers, who reportedly neglected their job of teaching. The absenteeism habit among teachers was blamed on the inability of the suspended principal.

Ntlola was fingered for his apparent questionable decision to put “on ice” a teacher knowledgeable in Mathematics and Science, and allocating a teacher not well inclined to teach these subjects.

At the height of Ntlola’s suspension, his legal team has served letters of demands to two women, Mpho Molete and Ntsoaki Mokoena, accusing them of defamation of character.

A part of the letter addressed to Mokoena reads: “It is our instructions that on 8 September 2017 you called a meeting whereby you accused our member of sleeping with a colleague, misusing school funds and not calling staff meetings amongst others.”

A part of the letter to Molete reads: “We have been instructed that on 7 September 2017, you entered the premises of Tjhebelopele Primary School and instructed the learners to call on their parents to convene a meeting. In that meeting you defamed our member to an extent that he cannot conduct his duties to the best of his ability.”

The two letters dated 2 October, of which one signature is attached, further demand that Mokoena and Molete apologise to Ntlola within 14 days of receipt of the letters.

In the letter it is demanded that Mokoena call a parents’ meeting where she must retract statements previously made at a meeting on 8 September and apologises for allegedly spreading rumours and discrediting Ntlola.

It further threatens legal action if both women fail to oblige.

“Kindly take note that should our member suffer any financial loss or job loss, be injured in a suspicious manner, you will be solely held responsible due to the rumours spread by yourself,” is stated in both letters.

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