Investigate ‘corrupt’ school – parents


Parents who protested to demand the removal of the principal and a teacher from Sosebenza Primary School are now calling on the Department of Education to investigate alleged corruption and mismanagement at the school.

Last week, chaos erupted at the school with one faction against the principal, Vusumzi Soyeye, and another against the teacher, Lulama Hamza, disrupting classes.

The situation was subsequently stabilised and Mr Soyeye returned to the school, according to Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC, Debbie Schaffer.

Then, on Tuesday February 23, learning and teaching were again disrupted when angry parents went to the school in the morning to demand the principal leave and that the department institute an independent body to audit the school’s financial affairs.

The concerned parents claimed there was widespread corruption and mismanagement by certain members of the school and the school governing body (SGB).

One parent, Linda Mkosi, said the school’s problems had started two weeks ago when rumours that a teacher was going to be kicked out surfaced.

He said parents found that strange because there had been no consultation about the matter.

“We want the government to take tough action against mismanagement of funds at school and corruption.

“There should be a body to investigate the principal and the SGB. We need to know the relationship between the two.

“But, most importantly, we heard reports of missing monies, including money for a farewell that was supposed to take place last year – but never did. We have heard that teachers are not happy at the school and that one has resigned. We want all these to be investigated,” he said.

Another parent, Xolile Sphondo, said there was division at the school and accused the SGB and the principal of powermongering.

Parent Khayakazi Yantolo said many accusations had been levelled against the principal so it was best that he resign.

“We hear there is financial mismanagement. There are posts that are given to those who are close to him. We know that vendors here pay R100 a month. Where does that money go? He must go,” he said.

But SGB chairperson Zakuthini Ndletyana denies there is a problem at the school.

Mr Ndletyana said the were few members of the community who had concerns but those had been resolved.

However, when Vukani arrived at the school, about 100 parents were gathered outside, still holing a meeting. They later dispersed peacefully after they were assured by their leaders that there would be another meeting soon.

The parents and the SGB were supposed to meet on Sunday February 21 to resolve the issue but this did not happen.

“For some reasons we could not meet. We have a meeting with the Department of Education coming soon. We will know everything after we have met with the department,” said Mr Ndletyana.

Paddy Attwell director of communication Western Cape Education Department said the accusations had been previously levelled against the principal and had been investigated.

He said the district office was aware of the protest that had taken place on Tuesday.

“Certain individuals have made similar allegations before. The department investigated thoroughly and found that there are no grounds for these allegations. The department will be happy to investigate further if the individuals concerned can provide new information to support their allegations,” he said.

He said the education officials would continue to work with all concerned to address underlying tensions within the school community.