Toyi-toyi at Thembani

Parents and teachers protested against principal at Thembani Primary School, in Langa, on Monday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko
Parents and teachers protested against principal at Thembani Primary School, in Langa, on Monday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Parents and teachers took their fight to Thembani Primary School in Langa on Monday to protest against its Headmaster.

A litany of accusations were levelled against Thobela Guzana on the day.

Included in the lsit of accusations against Guzana, were allegations of verbally and physically abusing his staff members, the lock-out of late-comers to the school, thus making the pupils vulnerable to the risk of rapes, the giving of feeding scheme food to persons not connected to the school and the termination of cooking staff contracts without valid reasons and nepotism.

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Western Cape Education Department, confirmed that they have received complaints about the attitude and management style of the principal from educators at the school.

“We are however, not aware of any physical abuse of educators and learners at the school.

Our district officials are investigating the matter as well as the allegations that have been made against the principal,” she said.

Guzana could only say the accusations against him are “criminal and labour related” and so they were supposed to be reported to authorities. He said he could not comment further as he is not allowed by the WCED policies to do so.

Zandile Vakala, a father of three learners at the school, said they want Guzana to leave the school.

“The solution is to fire him. We do not want him here. He locks the gate when our children are last and said he does not care even if they can get raped. He is supposed to act as a parent to our children, but he is failing them. He is a dictator,” Vakala said.

Thembisa Gxakuma is one of five cooks who were fired last year for allegedly “stealing food”, but she claims that the principal framed them and that the accusations against them were never supported by any evidence.

“His treatment has long passed it sell-by date. We say he must leave the school now. We are tired of his behaviour. He locks the gates. He also abuses teachers and learners verbally and physically,” Gxakuma said.

Gxakuma said they were still owned R450 in unpaid salary.

Nonceba Mfana, a former cook, who said she was fired last Monday for refusing to testify against a teacher who was allegedly accused of stealing food.

Dozi Kilifele alleged that both teachers and learners lived in awe of the principal at the school, because of his “bad treatment.”

One of the protesters-who refused to give her name-claimed to have worked closely with the school, bringing in tourists who donated money towards the upkeep of the premises, alleged that Guzana did not disclose such donations to the Governing Body.

“The teachers and SGB (School Governing Body) do not know about the sponsorship from the tourists. It is only me and him who are aware of it. The money went to his pocket,” she alleged. The protesters also claimed that they were told to contribute R150 towards the 80th anniversary event of the school which was due to take place last month, but the event did not materialise and they did not get refunds They alleged that they had also contributedd an amount of about R50 towards a planned outing for their children, but that the excursion never took place. They claimed to have never been refunded the money.

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