Principal accused of taking cow in return for giving teacher a job

2015-10-04 17:00

The principal of a scandal-ridden school for the mentally disabled in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, allegedly took a cow from a teacher in return for giving her a job. 

The teacher, whose name is known to City Press, allegedly paid the bribe in 2010 to the principal, who was then the deputy principal responsible for staffing, after being asked to “organise something” in return for the post in the school’s early childhood development wing. 

“The lady was told by the principal, who was then the staffing deputy, that she should ‘organise something’ if she wanted the post,” said a teacher at the school, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation. 

“She didn’t have money and her family in Pietermaritzburg eventually made a plan to get a cow. It was brought to Vryheid. The lady got the post in the early childhood development section, which was about to open. 

“There were other appointments at the time which were irregular and some of the staff from the school hostel reported this to the department.” 

The claims that the teacher, who is still employed at the school, was employed irregularly were among a number of allegations, including corruption and misconduct, against the principal. They were presented to the education department on Monday. 

Last month City Press exposed alleged abuse of children in the school’s hostel, along with financial irregularities, including the diversion of funds 
from the school’s feeding programme and abuse of school funds. 

On Monday teachers met officials from the department’s special needs division who had been sent to the school in response to the City Press story. A dossier containing allegations of corruption – including the cow-for-job claim – was given to officials from the department’s regional office earlier this year. 

The officials from the province, teachers said, were not aware of complaints submitted to the region in 2011 after the appointment of the principal. 

“The special needs division of the department came to investigate the claims in the newspaper. When we asked them about the dossier of grievances submitted by aggrieved teachers, they were not aware of anything,” said a teacher who attended the meeting, who also asked not to be named. 

“It seems the grievances had not been passed on to the provincial head office by the region. 

“We presented our grievances again. We were given an undertaking that we would get a report, but not when,” he said. 

“We are hopeful that there is now some progress in sorting out things at the school.” 

The teacher who allegedly gave the principal a cow as a bribe refused to comment. 

“I know nothing about that,” she said before cutting the call. 

The principal, who has previously refused to talk to City Press, did not respond to calls and SMS messages this week. 

Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said he was awaiting a report from the team tasked with investigating the claims of corruption and abuse at the school.

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