Eldos community: Our demand is not racist
‘Request for coloured principal at school blown out of proportion’
THE Eldorado Park community yesterday argued that it was not racist in its demand for a coloured principal,.
The community claimed that proper processes were not followed when an appointment was made at Klipspruit West Secondary School.
This came out at a Gauteng Crisis Committee media briefing at the embattled school at the weekend, where the community insisted its protest was based on inaccurate procedures in the appointment of the black principal.
Anthony Williams of Patriots For Equality said the Gauteng Education Department had blown the matter out of proportion and was not confronting the issue of appointing a suitable and qualified candidate.
“Instead of sitting down and having a discussion about it, they have chosen to go out on a frenzy and branded this community racist.
“It’s improper and absolutely unethical that one would go out there and make the kind of remarks that the department has made,” Williams lamented.
He maintained that the community was not racist in its attempt to have the department rescind its appointment of the current principal.
“We have had black learners in our school for over 25 years and it’s never been a problem.
“Many African people who are in corporate South Africa went to schools in coloured areas, so it doesn’t make sense that the department continues to brand us as racist,” he added.
Charis Pretorius, spokesperson for the crisis committee, said they were irked by the decision to have an interim district official deployed to the school to ensure its functionality.
“The institutional development support officer who has been placed in the school needs to be removed, because he is serving as a watchdog. We don’t need the person here,” Pretorius said.
She said a mass meeting would be held today at which a plan of action would be discussed.
But Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said a series of meetings were held with the various bodies of the school to determine whether due process was followed in the appointment of a new principal and has been left perplexed by the ongoing protests.
“I had meetings with teachers, the school management team, learners representative and the SGB (school governing body), who all said the proper process was followed,” Lesufi told The Star.
“But the problem arises from the community. They were politicking and they said the SGB chairperson, who was part of the panel involved in appointing the new incumbent, was removed through a vote of no-confidence.
“I asked them to provide the minutes of that meeting, which is what I am waiting for,” Lesufi said.
He has appealed to the community to give him 72 hours to peruse the documents presented to him before he makes a decision.
He also accused the organisations of peddling political agendas at the expense of learners’ education.
“They said to me that the issue was about race, but now they are changing their tune because it is an argument that they cannot win and they are (now) talking about procedures.
“They want to bring politics into it, but we will not play to their gallery. Education seems to be a soft target for people pushing political agendas,” he said.
Teachers have embarked on a go-slow in solidarity with parents that shut down Klipspruit West Secondary last week, demanding that a coloured or Indian principal be appointed.
People are pushing political agendas in this matter