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

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Laerskool Theresapark principal.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visits Laerskool Theresapark principal.
Supplied
  • 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.

READ | 'It's a joke!': Proposal to scrap October school holidays has parents outraged

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.

READ | Unvaccinated Curro teachers may face retrenchment

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.

Racism

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.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
50% - 3199 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
21% - 1305 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
29% - 1836 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.83
+0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.41
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.25
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.07
-0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,797.96
+0.3%
Silver
24.52
+0.6%
Palladium
2,040.19
+1.0%
Platinum
1,049.14
+0.5%
Brent Crude
85.53
+1.1%
Top 40
60,525
0.0%
All Share
67,051
0.0%
Resource 10
62,969
0.0%
Industrial 25
86,659
0.0%
Financial 15
13,849
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE