News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday October 17th 2017

Three injured as primary school learners throw rocks at principal

Principal of Qingqa Mntwana Primary school in Crossroads, Nosithembela Mahlathi was escorted from the premises by police yesterday (subs: Mon) after learners threw rocks at her, protesting against her return to her post. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/ WCN

Principal of Qingqa Mntwana Primary school in Crossroads, Nosithembela Mahlathi was escorted from the premises by police today after learners threw rocks at her, protesting against her return to her post. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/ WCN

11.02.2013

Two pupils and a parent were injured in Qingqa Mntwana Primary School, when pupils, teachers and parents protest against the reinstatement of the principal Nosithembela Mahlathi.

Mahlathi was last year accused by parents and teachers of misusing school funds and abusing teachers.

Mahlathi returned to her post today after the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and community cluster committee members found her not guilty, sparking a protest by about 50 parents and the entire body of learners.

The protest at Qingqa Mntwana Primary was the third school protest against a principal at schools in Crossroads this year.

Yesterday Mahlathi, accompanied by ward councillor Elese Depoutch and cluster committee members arrived at the school about 8am to find the school gate locked, with pupils in class.

One of the cluster committee members broke the gate lock and opened the school gate, whereupon learners emerged from classrooms and started throwing stones at Mahlathi.

The news of Mahlathi returning spread quickly in no time parents rushed to school to fetch their kids. Some other parents joined the protest saying Mahlathi should leave the school.

“We do not want her and that is final. She has no respect for us as parents, she abuses teachers. She was suspended last year for using school money into her personal things, the department did not give us the report, all they did is to bring her back without us knowing,” said a parent.

They also accused councillor Depoutch of causing fights at school, saying he had no say in school governance.

“Mahlathi will never be welcome here, we do not want her,” shouted parents

Mahlathi had to be escorted out of the school by the police.

Cluster Chairperson Eliot Mbuzane said the reason Mahlathi returned to the school was because as the cluster committee, led by Depoutch, found her not guilty.

“We did our investigation with the department and we found her not guilty. We called the School Governing Body in all eight schools in Crossroad but this school governing body did not want to attend. However, we came to a conclusion that Mahlathi should return,” said Mbuzane.

Education MEC Donald Grant’s spokesperson Bronagh Casey said Mahlathi had returned to the school with the approval of the WCED.

According to Casey, Mahlathi was never suspended.

“The principal has been prevented from returning to school last year after certain allegations against her were made by the educators and some community members. Our officials have investigated and have found no grounds to take action against the principal. She has never been suspended as there were no grounds on which to do so. Unfortunately, this morning teaching and learning was disrupted as parents blocked access to the school gates. Learners threw stones. It is reported that a protestor and two learners were injured,” said Casey.

She said internal conflict between school staff should be dealt with in a professional manner. – Nombulelo Damba

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One Response to “Three injured as primary school learners throw rocks at principal”

  1. unknown says:

    Teachers are misleading the parent and of course the kids. This needs the law to be even thicker for the prepatators so learning can be take place. Mahlathi is one of the great school leaders on which I have ever met. Dpt should change the teachers at the school as they are the initial cause of all this occurrence.

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