Teachers who blew whistle ‘intimidated’
Two Queenstown teachers who blew the whistle on an alleged jobs-for-cash scam in the region and alleged looting of school feeding schemes have been charged with misconduct by the provincial department of education for talking to the media.
The two – St Theresa’s Primary School teacher Gaynor Rittles, and Bongolo Farm School principal and respected educationist Lindiwe Doko – were charged with misconduct in August for talking to City Press earlier this year.
The exposé led to the department’s risk management services division launching a forensic investigation into feeding schemes at St Theresa’s, the nearby Kwa-Komani Comprehensive School and Mpendulo Primary School. The outcome of the investigations, which took place during September and October, are not yet known.
Both Rittles and Doko made allegations of
Do you know of other incidents of looting
SMS your thoughts to 35697 using the keyword WHISTLE. SMSes cost R1.50. Please include your name and province improper conduct by senior officials and the principal of St Theresa’s during Rittles’ successful challenge at the Education Labour Relations Council to her dismissal from the school.
Rittles has also filed an application in the Port Elizabeth Labour Court for the appointment of St Theresa’s principal, Claude van Dyk, to be set aside.
Doko’s disciplinary letter, dated August 21, claims she is guilty of misconduct as she “engaged with the media, particularly City Press, following the interviews for principal at St Theresa’s”.
“Instead of following the required procedure for a grievance during and after interviews, you preferred to express your feelings in the public domain, while you were not appointed spokesperson for the department of education. These actions prejudiced the administration, discipline and efficiency of the department of education,” the letter reads.
Doko, who is preparing for her own court battle with the department over what she claims was the rigging of the application process for a chief education specialist’s post, was given three days to show why she should not face disciplinary action.
Rittles was served with an identical letter on the same date. Neither of the two has received further notification of progress on the charges against them.
“This is an attempt to intimidate me,” said Doko. “I am preparing to go to court about this.”
Education department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the case against the two was “ongoing”. He declined to provide details, but said the cases would be finalised “in due course”.
UNDER INVESTIGATION Bongolo Farm School principal Lindiwe Doko (left) and St Theresa’s Primary School teacher Gaynor Rittles
are embroiled in a court battle after alleging corruption within the Eastern Cape department of education
Kwa-Komani Comprehensive School in Queenstown has been implicated in misconduct