Laerskool Theresapark: Lesufi vows to act after probe finds allegations of racism, nepotism

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Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Laerskool Theresapark principal.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Laerskool Theresapark principal.
  • Laerskool Theresapark has been embroiled in allegations of racism, nepotism and mismanagement of funds.
  • Some SGB members are accused of financially benefitting through companies owned by their relatives.
  • There is apparently infighting among teachers, with pupils feeling the brunt.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the behaviour of Pretoria's Laerskool Theresapark staff members has forced him to act against allegations of racism, nepotism and mismanagement of funds.

In May, the school shot to prominence when a video of the school principal, Dorothy Mabaso, being carried out of her office while still seated, went viral.

Mabaso fell off the chair and was injured.

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Mabaso was kicked out of the school by angry parents, who accused her of bullying teachers and the mismanagement of school funds. 

The incident forced Lesufi to appoint Mdlulwa-Mkuhlu Attorneys and Guardian Forensic Services to probe the allegations.

The findings were announced on Tuesday night.


The department's acting chief risk officer, William Makgabo, said Guardian Forensic Services found that various individuals at the school were implicated.

The school was found to be using two bank accounts.

The School Governing Body (SGB) appointed service providers, who were linked to some of its members, and failed to declare a conflict of interest. They failed to step down from their SGB positions after being implicated. 

Investigators also uncovered procurement transactions linked to staff members.

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Lesufi has been advised to consider opening criminal cases related to illegal procurement processes.

"Corrective action should be taken against staff members involved in (illegal) procurement processes involving companies related to them or their close family members," Makgabo said.


It was also revealed that some white teachers allegedly refused to teach black pupils, and that children were apparently segregated by skin colour.

Some black teachers complained about being paid less than their white counterparts.

Black teachers felt ill-treated as if they were less qualified than white teachers.

There were allegations that Mabaso lacked management skills and did not treat black parents correctly.

Mabaso was accused of failing to call white teachers to order whenever they did something wrong.

It was revealed that some teachers were not paying school fees for their children at the school.

READ | Lesufi orders probe into Pretoria school where angry parents carried principal out of office

A transformation strategy has been recommended to deal with racial tensions, address the failure by SGB members to pay attention to their responsibilities, and to quell infighting between black and white teachers.

Lesufi said the school was in trouble and needed urgent intervention.

"We shared the report with parents, so that, when we intervene, there is an understanding of many wrong things happening at the school. Some things are unacceptable. I will not entertain racism and discrimination against pupils," said Lesufi.

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