Principal changes plea to guilty

2012-09-12 19:32

Johannesburg - A Johannesburg school principal charged with insubordination changed her plea to guilty on Wednesday.

Rivonia Primary School head Carol Drysdale did so after the department agreed, during her disciplinary hearing, that she would not be fired, and would be given a warning.
Whether the warning should be final would be argued when the hearing resumed on 19 September.

Mxolisi Zondo, for the Gauteng education department, proposed that Drysdale be given a final warning, but Dion Masher, for Drysdale, wanted her to be handed an ordinary warning.

The department will deliver its argument on the sanction on 19 September while Drysdale will do so on 26 September.

A ruling will be given next month.

Speaking on behalf of Drysdale, Masher said: "We are happy that this has been settled and she can go back to work... We are satisfied with the outcome."

Drysdale was charged with gross insubordination after she refused to admit a Grade 1 pupil to her school, saying the grade was full.

The department head ordered her to admit the child, but Drysdale refused, saying only the education MEC could make such an order.

Earlier in the day, Qiniso Zwane, co-ordinator of appeals at the department head office, said legislation granted the department head the authority to overturn an admission decision and this information caused Drysdale to change her plea.

Masher said: "My client would have followed the instructions had she known."

Education spokesperson Charles Phahlane welcomed the settlement.

  • renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-09-12 22:42

    It is the duty of the employer to ensure that the employee knows the command structure and whom may issue specific instructions therefore a charge of insubordination is not fair. A decision to allow a learner cannot be reversed at a later stage therefore the Principal could not adhere to the instruction blindly. Overcrowded schools does not affect the Department - it affects the teachers and the children.

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