Prin­ci­pal not off hook on ‘racist’ re­mark

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - NOLOYISO MTEMBU

A LE­GAL tech­ni­cal­ity which stood in the way of an Equal­ity Court hear­ing in­volv­ing a Kaya­mandi par­ent seek­ing re­course fol­low­ing her son’s re­jected school ap­pli­ca­tion at Paul Roos Gym­na­sium was re­solved this week.

The Stel­len­bosch Mag­is­trate’s Court on Thurs­day up­held Paul Roos Gym­na­sium prin­ci­pal Jan­nie van der West- huizen’s point in lim­ine (at the start), but found that his al­legedly racist re­mark could still be an is­sue for the Equal­ity Court.

Vuyokazi Dyani brought the mat­ter to court in July af­ter her son was re­fused en­try to Paul Roos this year. She al­leged Van der Westhuizen told her the school had no space for his son, and sug­gested she try schools in the Kaya­mandi town­ship be­cause “that is where he be­longs”.

As rem­edy, Dyani wanted her son reg­is­tered at the school and his school uni­form bought for him.

Van der Westhuizen ar­gued that the case was brought against him, but that he had “no man­date to ad­mit pupils to the school”, and was “un­able to reg­is­ter the com­plainant’s son at the school”. Ac­cord­ing to Van der Westhuizen, the school gov­ern­ing body and the Ed­uca- tion Depart­ment should have been the re­spon­dents.

The court found in Van der Westhuizen’s favour, say­ing that while, as prin­ci­pal he was a mem­ber of the school gov­ern­ing body, he was not solely re­spon­si­ble for ad­mis­sions.

Van der Westhuizen could still, how­ever, an­swer to an al­legedly racist re­mark he made about Dyani’s son.

A hear­ing will be held on Jan­uary 21.

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