Zonkizizwe Secondary school learners protest over principal’s return

SABC News Steve Mabona - Zonkizizwe Secondary school learners protest over principal’s return


The Department of Education says the Zonkizizwe Secondary School’s principal was rightfully reinstated after a successful appeal with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The school governing board members and parents, angered by the return of the principal were protesting outside the school in Katlegong, East of Johanneburg.

The principal had allegedly failed to submit exam papers which led to the failure of over 60 students in 2017.

Sindi Mabuya is a former Zonkizizwe Secondary student. She was one of those, whose papers were not submitted in 2017.

She says for two years, her life has been at a complete standstill, as a result of the alleged tampering with exam papers.

“When we received our statements after writing our final exams we noticed that some subjects were missing. We questioned that because we knew we wrote our papers. I know I wrote both my geography papers, but the marks were not there. Some people were forced to rewrite in 2018 and even after that, they did not receive their certificates.”

With her dream to study hospitality shattered Mabuya says she is against the return of the principal.

“The least they can find a new principal. She really ruined our lives maybe they can accommodate her elsewhere but we don’t want her at Zonkizizwe school.”

SGB chairperson Maria Mkwayi says, “She admitted that she did not submit those children’s papers then they suspended her for three months after she ruined our children’s lives. They only suspended her for three months and now they want her to return here and do the very same thing she did. We are scared.”

Youth sector Ward 62 Thabiso Letsoela says, “During the process one of the demands that were made by the parents and the learners was that even if you busy with the process undergone by the deptartment we don’t want Masemola back at the school.”

The department says their hands are tied.

Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona says, “We could not say she must not report at the school because after we had advised her that she should be at the district office she went ahead for the arbitration process which the CCMA instructed us to reinstate her at the work station which is at the school. We could not defy them because we must respect laws of the country but unfortunately she insisted.”

Parents and SGB members say they have no intention of disrupting exams, but fear that silence from the department could escalate the situation and result in a complete shutdown.

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