Wellington fire deaths: school principal could face conduct investigation

28 June 2010

This after the headmaster was accused of having an affair with one of his teachers, Sunita, who perished in a fire with her husband last month.

Paarl Gymnasium Primary School principal Danie le Roux may face an investigation into his conduct.

In a letter sent to parents, the school said its governing body is consulting with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to determine whether an investigation into the headmaster's conduct is necessary, after it was alleged he had an affair with teacher Sunita van Dyk.

Read more: ‘She was just a friend’: Woman accused of writing ‘love letters’ to husband’s mistress

The shocking rumours emerged after Sunita and her husband Jacques died in a house fire last month. The couple's charred bodies were found in their home outside Wellington on 10 May.

An autopsy revealed that Sunita also had wounds on her neck that could have been caused by strangulation.

In an exclusive interview with YOU, Danie emphatically denied he'd been unfaithful to his wife Eloise with Sunita, who were "like sisters".

The only thing he and his wife are guilty of is being close friends with Sunita and Jacques, the headmaster said. "I believe my wife and I shouldn't have become friends with one of my teachers," he said. "We made the mistake of our lives."

Read more: ‘Obsessive’ relationships probed in Wellington couple’s mysterious fire deaths

In the letter, the governing body said the furore that followed Sunita and Jacques' deaths has been unpleasant for staff and learners.

"As the governing body we have received numerous phone calls and questions about the matter from teachers, parents, former learner and other parties, with widely differing opinions.

"In the wake of this, we have consulted with several experts, including the federation of governing bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas)."

School governing body's statement. School governing body's statement.

School governing body's statement. School governing body's statement.

The letter goes on to say the governing body is aware of rumours that Danie and Sunita had an affair,

adding "there is no provision in the education law which classifies an affair between the headmaster and a teacher as a form of misconduct."

Their goal is to ensure the issue does not disrupt the learning environment and day-to-day running of the school, they said.

"We have a empathy with the difficult path that Danie and Eloise must walk. We also ask that the media handle this matter responsibly because it also involves primary school learners, who don't deserve to be experiencing such trauma."

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