El­dos com­mu­nity: Our de­mand is not racist

‘Re­quest for coloured prin­ci­pal at school blown out of pro­por­tion’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

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

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