Call to jail Assegai’s SGB pair

Men in ‘con­tempt of court’

Daily News - - NEWS - SE-ANNE RALL

THE De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion is lodg­ing an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion in the Dur­ban High Court to­day against two mem­bers of the Assegai Pri­mary School gov­ern­ing body (SGB), call­ing for them to be jailed for be­ing in con­tempt of court.

An­dre de Bruin and Clint Lev­er­ton, the chair­per­son and vice-chair­per­son of the SGB, al­legedly stopped the new prin­ci­pal, Then­jiwe Ndlovu, from en­ter­ing the school last week.

Ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit of the uMlazi district direc­tor, Bhek­izenso Ntuli, the de­part­ment also wants the pair to is­sue a state­ment to Assegai Pri­mary School staff, at an assem­bly this week

The de­part­ment is­sued a state­ment in which it pledged to give its full sup­port to Ndlovu.

“We wish to wel­come the new prin­ci­pal, Then­jiwe Ndlovu, to the school, on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 16, and shall take all steps with the school, the school gov­ern­ing body and the com­mu­nity to en­sure that Ms Ndlovu as­sumes duty at the school un­hin­dered, peace­fully and undis­turbed with­out any vi­o­lence or dis­rup­tions what­so­ever.

“Ms Ndlovu can rest as­sured that she has the full sup­port of the school gov­ern­ing body and us, and that we will treat her with the dig­nity and re­spect that she de­serves,” the state­ment read.

Ntuli claimed the men had failed to com­ply with a high court or­der granted on Septem­ber 20 by stop­ping a de­part­ment of­fi­cial and Ndlovu from en­ter­ing the school.

A scuf­fle ap­par­ently took place out­side the school re­sult­ing in Ndlovu and the of­fi­cial leav­ing.

Last month, De Bruin and Lev­er­ton ap­peared in court where act­ing Judge Fazal Abra­ham granted an in­ter­dict, ef­fec­tively bar­ring the SGB and par­ents from pre­vent­ing lessons from tak­ing place at the school.

Merit

The SGB main­tained Ndlovu’s ap­point­ment was not done on merit be­cause Odette Abra­hams Field, the school’s cur­rent act­ing prin­ci­pal was a bet­ter suited can­di­date.

Abra­hams Field has been at the school for more than 25 years.

In ad­di­tion to the apol­ogy, Ntuli is also ask­ing the court to jail De Bruin and Lev­er­ton for six months or an­other sanc­tion that the court deems ap­pro­pri­ate.

He said this sanc­tion could be sus­pended on con­di­tion that, pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of this ap­pli­ca­tion and the main ap­pli­ca­tion for an in­ter­dict, the pair com­plied with the court or­der.

Fur­ther­more, De Bruin and Lev­er­ton are to pay for the le­gal costs of the con­tempt or­der.

Ad­vo­cate Visha­lan Naidu is bring­ing the ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion, on be­half of the de­part­ment, to­day.

The mat­ter came to light ear­lier this year after the SGB and par­ents re­fused to ac­knowl­edge Ndlovu’s ap­point­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the found­ing af­fi­davit, De Bruin and Lev­er­ton had no in­ten­tion to op­pose the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Ntuli said Ndlovu did not take up duty after the court or­der was granted to­wards the end of the term.

It was de­cided that she would as­sume duty in the new term in light of the dis­rup­tions at the school.

“On Oc­to­ber 4, Sathi­anathan Naicker, cir­cuit man­ager, took Ndlovu to the school to at­tend to ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties ahead of the new term. An­other of­fi­cial ac­com­pa­nied Ndlovu and Naicker to Assegai and when they ar­rived, they were met by a group of an­gry par­ents,” he said.

Ntuli added that they were sworn at and threat­ened by a mob, which in­cluded De Bruin and Lev­er­ton. Ndlovu, Naicker and the of­fi­cial left.

“The school can­not be con­trolled by a mob of un­ruly thugs who have fla­grant dis­re­gard for the court or­der and the ap­pli­cant. Their con­duct has prej­u­diced and will con­tinue to prej­u­dice the school and es­pe­cially the learn­ers whose con­sti­tu­tional rights are be­ing in­fringed by the con­duct of the con­tem­nors,” Ntuli said.

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