Police appeal for community to form partnership with them

School was disrupted at Iqhayiya High School in Khayelitsha after pupils protested, accusing the principal of corruption.

Hands off Our Leaders, an organisation led by Lennox Ntsodo, has accused the principal of Iqhayiya High School in Khayelitsha of corruption and financial maladministration.

On Wednesday March 1, teaching and learning at the school was disrupted when a group of angry Iqhayiya pupils protested outside the school, demanding that principal Ayanda Mbava step down immediately.

It is alleged the protesters also tried to petrol bomb the school.

When Vukani visited the school on Thursday March 2, there was a heavy police presence patrolling in- and outside the premises.

A group of parents who seemed confused about what was going on, gathered at the school.

They, however, refused to speak to Vukani, stating that they just had been informed that there was chaos at the school and did not know what was going on.

Pupils were seen marching through the streets of Khayelitsha, chanting that the school principal was corrupt and should leave the school.

Spokesperson for Lingelethu West police station, Sergeant Xoliswa Nyalambisa, confirmed that a petrol bomb had been found on the premises.

“A 23-year-old man, who is not a pupil, was arrested on a charge of public violence,” she said.

The school principal refused to speak to us, referring questions to the Western Cape Education Department.

Attempts to speak to the school’s SGB chairperson were also unsuccessful.

Mr Ntsodo claimed that the principal was unable to run the school properly, claiming that while, in 2015, the school had received a
R2 million donation to improve the school’s infrastructure, they did not know what the money had been spent on.

In addition to this, he claimed that the principal had instructed parents and pupils to pay a monthly contribution of R350 even though the school was a no-fee school.

Mr Ntsondo added that they had tried countless times to get answers from the school, but failed. “We have asked the principal to provide us with information on how the school money was used, but she never did that.

“We alerted the department in 2015, but they also failed us. We want her to account for the money,” he said.

Spokesperson for the department, Millicent Merton, said an investigation into the allegations of corruption had uncovered no evidence of financial mismanagement or corruption.

She added that their district office had reported the outcome of the investigation to pupils.

Ward councillor, Patrick Mngxunyeni, said he had been informed that there was chaos at the school and had been asked to calm the situation.

He refuted the claims that the principal was corrupt.

Mr Mngxunyeni said he had arranged a meeting with Mr Ntsodo to discuss their grievances but he could not provide evidence to his claims.