A parent of two learners at the Hoërskool Kakamas in the Northern Cape has obtained an urgent court interdict that prevents the Northern Cape Education Department from making an unlawful appointment in the position of principal at this school.
“Although the parent is a member of the school’s governing body he brought the application before the court in his capacity as concerned parent. A significant number of other parents also support the application,” says Dr Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS). The governing body of the Hoërskool Kakamas is a member of FEDSAS.
Deacon says one of the issues is that the correct procedure was not followed with the appointment of the new principal. “The school governing body made a recommendation for a new principal early in 2016. However, the appointment was never made and the Department advertised the post again without providing reasons for this decision. A different principal was appointment by the Department in November last year without the correct procedures being followed and without the school governing body making a formal recommendation in this regard.”
Deacon says parents are especially concerned about the fact that the principal appointed by the Department was found guilty of sexual misconduct in 2007. This related to the pregnancy of a girl who was a learner at Hoërskool Kakamas at the time. The Department dismissed the teacher as a result.
In a clear case of conflict of interest the current District Director was this teacher’s union representative in 2007.
Deacon says the interdict prevents the new principal from entering the school terrain of Hoërskool Kakamas. A cost order was also awarded against the Department and the judged ordered that the Deputy Principal acts as principal until final judgement is delivered. The case was postponed until 23 March.
“This is an example of extreme abuse of power where the interests of the children were not considered at all. FEDSAS will continue to support its members to ensure that education departments adhere to their mandate.”