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‘Warzone’ at NC school


The principal is accused of “trying to get rid of the new SGB” by “intimidating teachers” to sign a petition against the SGB.


CHAOS has erupted at a school in Platfontein with tyres being burnt after a standoff between the school’s principal and members of the School Governing Body (SGB).

The Xhunkwesa Combined School in Platfontein has reportedly become a “warzone” with strained relations between the school’s principal and members of the newly-elected SGB, who were voted into power on March 10.

Members of the SGB have accused the principal of suspected financial mismanagement, after the he apparently refused members access to the school’s chequebook and is yet to “hand over power” to the newly elected SGB.

“The principal is yet to acknowledge us as members of the new SGB and he is refusing us access to the school’s chequebook, leaving us with questions about suspected mismanagement of funds that he is trying to keep from us. This is aggravated by rumours that he is writing out cheques left, right, and centre since the inception of the new SGB, without the authorization of the SGB chairman and that this has already reportedly amounted to more than R200 000,” one of the SGB members yesterday said.

The member further accused the principal of “trying to get rid of the new SGB” by “intimidating teachers” to sign a petition against the SGB.

However, Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, yesterday said that while the Department was “fully aware of the situation at the Xhunkwesa Combined School in Platfontein” the allegation of an unauthorised expenditure to the tune of R200 000 by the principal was “without any substance” and accordingly, there was no investigation against the principal.

Van der Merwe added that those who make such allegations should provide proof to the district office in order for an investigation to be launched.

SGB members further accused the principal of “staging a protest” at the school earlier this week, where tyres were burnt at the school’s gate, with the principal failing to contact to police during the protest

Van Der Merwe indicated the district office team was at the school at the time and they confirmed that there was no protest taking place.

“There were community members at the school who engaged the district team regarding a petition which was handed over to the district office, we responded accordingly and the community members dispersed.

“Two tyres were set alight outside the school gates (without any community members present nearby), while the district team was at the school but there was not any visible danger posed to the school property nor staff, thus there was no need to call the police,” Van der Merwe said

He further added that the Department’s district office had developed a programme/schedule to engage all relevant stakeholders of the school and dismissed claims by SGB members that the principal had been appointed irregularly, by saying that the current principal was, in fact, properly appointed.

“Anyone with proof to the contrary must provide that proof to the department,” Van der Merwe said, adding that the department’s district office continued to engage all stakeholders “to ensure that normality returned to the school”.