Principal not off hook on ‘racist’ remark
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.