Parents threaten to shut down Georgetown School

2019-12-04 06:00

PARENTS of Georgetown Secondary School pupils have threatened to shut down the school if the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal suspends the acting principal of the school, Simon Mahlaba.

The angry parents picketed outside Department of Education offices last Thursday demanding answers from the department as to why Mahlaba is being suspended from the school from January next year.

The parents said they did not know anything about Mahlaba’s suspension until someone told them that he has been served with the letter.

They say after receiving the news of his suspension they wrote a letter to the department requesting a meeting where they wanted to get answers.

They said the meeting was scheduled last Tuesday but no one from the department arrived.

School Governing Body (SGB) Chairperson Mncedisi Ndlela said they were never consulted or informed about the upcoming suspension period for Mahlaba.

He said as SGB members they need to be included in these decisions which is why they decided to picket at the department’s offices.

“Mahlaba is managing the school very well and now he is going to be suspended for reasons that we were never even told of. If they are suspending him what will happen to the school because he was the deputy principal and acting as the school principal as well.

“We do not want Mahlaba to go. We want him and him only, not anyone else,” he said.

The parents threatened that they will shut down the school and make it ungovernable if Mahlaba is suspended.

“Apart from being an acting school principal, Mahlaba is also a history and physics teacher. If he is suspended what is going to happen to our children?

“If the department suspends him we will take our children out from the school,” said one parent. KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they were not aware of any meeting that was called by the parents and the SGB. However, he confirmed that Mahlaba has been suspended but his suspension will start running next year. “For now he is still serving at the school until December 31 this year, but from January 16 he will no longer be serving at the school.

“The department charged him following a case of a girl learner who was bruised in the arm and the leg went viral. Mahlaba pleaded guilty and was handed a sanction of three months’ suspension without pay,” he said.

Mahlambi said the sanction was to be implemented as from October 1 this year. However, Mahlaba pleaded with the department to start implementing as from January 2020 and the department agreed.

“The department has planned to appoint the second deputy principal to act as the school principal while Mahlaba is away on suspension.”

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