A case has been opened against a Soweto principal, Philip Mabalane, after he allegedly assaulted a Grade 4 teacher, Xolani Miya, in front of pupils last week.
The principal’s disdainful act has however drawn the attention and fury of a group of teachers, who demanded and insisted that Mabalane take the exit door.
The incidence also led the parents to forcefully lock the principal out during a protest outside Busisiwe Primary School in Zola 2, Soweto.
During the protest, community leader Muzi Tshabalala called for the newly appointed school governing (SGB) body to be dissolved for allegedly throwing their weight behind Mabalane.
Tshabalala also spanked scolded SGB chairman Kenneth Msimanga for taking sides after the latter sent messages to parents barring them from intruding in the affairs of the school.
Community Wants Soweto Principal Out
Lamenting further, the community leader asserted that “Large amounts of money are withdrawn from the school account but there is no feedback on what it is used for. We want the department to investigate.
The matter has been reported to the department over the years but nothing has been done. We want [Gauteng education MEC] Panyaza [Lesufi] to intervene.
“We are tired of officials who do not do their work. Mabalane needs to be dealt with. He must go,” Tshabalala added.
Also, the school’s former SGB treasurer and parent, Zanele Ndlovu revealed that she was forcefully stepped down from the office after being threatened.
“I decided to step down earlier this month because I was being threatened. There was a trip to the zoo and the school spent R2700 on food for teachers.
There are broken windows in some classes. I requested a quote from someone who said it would cost R2100 to fix. Mabalane said it was expensive. That is madness. If you can spend money on food, you should have money to fix the school. The toilets and kitchen are a mess,” Ndlovu thundered.
During the protest, many people held up placards written “Mabalane must go” and “The SGB must be dissolved” among many.
Meanwhile, Westonaria police spokesman, Captain Siphiwe Ndlovu confirmed that a case has been opened against Mabalane and been transferred to Jabulani police.
However, irrespective of the protest, teaching and learning in Busisiwe Primary School (which has about 700 pupils) is still in progress.
In February, a school teacher allegedly reported that she was sexually harassed by her school principal, and again by a group of schoolboys soon after she was placed at a new school.
The 27-year-old teacher, who cannot be identified, was treated later for post-traumatic stress disorder at a Durban hospital because of these separate incidents.
Assaulting teachers is an act that must be urgently tackled in schools because when teachers are assaulted, they are physically and mentally left traumatized. Also, the act hinders effective and efficient teaching and learning, no more the degree and nature of the assault.