Final warning, fine for principal who humiliated student teacher over his hair - but no apology

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William Sezoe.
William Sezoe.
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  • Vredenburg Primary principal Andre Muller pleaded guilty to a misconduct charge.
  • Student teacher William Sezoe says he is upset that he will not be receiving an apology.
  • According to the provincial education department, sanctions are prescribed in Section 18 (3) of the Employment of Educators Act and "does not include an apology to the victim".

The principal who humiliated a student teacher over his hair on his first day of classroom observation, has been sanctioned with a final written warning, the Western Cape Education Department confirmed on Wednesday.

But it appears that William Sezoe will not get the remedy he requested - an apology from the headmaster.

READ | 'I was humiliated' - outrage after principal shows education student the door for hairstyle

Department spokesperson Millicent Merton said Vredenburg Primary principal Andre Muller pleaded guilty to a misconduct charge through his union representative.

In addition to the final written warning, he was issued with a fine, suspended for one year on condition that he isn't found guilty of the same or similar offence.

She said sanctions were prescribed in Section 18 (3) of the Employment of Educators Act and "does not include an apology to the victim".

"The fact that the employee pleaded guilty is an indication that he is remorseful about his conduct."

READ | Misconduct charge levelled at principal who showed student teacher the door over his hair

Sezoe, however, said he was upset that he would not be receiving an apology from Muller.

He said:

I mean, come on! Yes, he received a final written warning, but he will obviously move on. I, on the other hand, who [was] humiliated and dehumanised by that Boswell [Wilkie] comment, can't move [on] without a personal apology from the principal.

Muller could not immediately be reached for comment, but will be added once received.

Sezoe was given a tongue lashing by the principal when he arrived on his first day of classroom observation with dark hair and blonde tips.

He was told by Muller that he was not welcome at Vredenburg Primary with his hairstyle which, according to him, did not set an example.

The scene - which Sezoe said saw Muller scream from the corridor at a teacher he was meant to observe, "[Juffrou], los daai man. Hy moet by daai deur uit. Ek't gesê hy's nie welkom hier nie. Gaan maar na jou klas toe en ek't mos klaar met jou gepraat, daar's die deur - gaan nou! [Teacher, leave that man. He must go out through that door. I said he isn't welcome here. Go to your class. And I have already spoken to you; there's the door - go now!]" - played out in front of pupils and parents and left the Stellenbosch University student in tears.

When Die Burger approached Muller for comment, he said the school was "not the Boswell Wilkie circus" and Sezoe with his hair was "not a good role model" for his pupils.

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