By Kaya 959 Reporter
Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, has released damning findings against the management of Laerskool Theresapark.
The school made headlines in May after a viral video showed parents violently removing principal Dorothy Mabaso out of her office.
According to Pretoria News, the parents were upset with how the principal treated staff members – some of whom allegedly quit.
They also accused the principal of mismanaging school funds. Staff members were also accused of racism and nepotism.
Parents chased away a school principal at Laerskool Theresapark this morning for allegedly abusing other educators who quit their jobs and running the school into financial ruin @DBE_SA #Theresapark @CityTshwane #School #backtoschool pic.twitter.com/MtH7atMhSc
— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) May 13, 2021
Lesufi condemned the parents’ actions but promised to investigate. Independent investigative bodies were appointed to probe the allegations.
Lesufi presented his report during a virtual meeting with parents on Tuesday evening.
Discrimination against black teachers
The report “confirmed parents’ allegations of racism, maladministration and financial mismanagement against staff members and some members of the previous and current SGB”.
Acting Chief Director of Risk and Compliance, William Makgabo, says the findings contained evidence of corrupt financial conduct by a number of staff members and some SGB members.
“The report revealed that the school allegedly had two bank accounts and procurement deals were closely linked to certain staff. In addition, some School Governing Body members were found to be in conflict of interest by procuring from service providers who were linked to either themselves or their family members,” Gauteng Education said in a statement.
Regarding claims of racism, the report “clearly indicated that the principal allegedly discriminated against black teachers and viewed them as less educated than their white colleagues and that she essentially lacked adequate management skills to lead ethically.”
Learners also faced racism from some teachers.
“The report revealed that white educators were racist against black children and refused to teach them. Some educators were also reported to be missing payments on their children’s fees at the school,” the statement continued.
The report recommends that the education department “pursue litigation and criminal cases against those implicated in illegal procurement processes, including family members and close friends of staff and SGB members”.
Lesufi promised that “decisive action” would be taken to address the issues at the school.
“There’s an understanding that there were a lot of wrong things that were happening at the school. First is the issue of governance, which signifies serious limitations and gaps. Second is the issue of management through the SMT, there are things that are completely unacceptable.
“Third is the leadership of the school through the principal, there are matters that needs our immediate attention. Lastly, which is something that I don’t take kindly to, is matters of racism and discrimination against learners,” he said.
Main image credit: Twitter/Pretoria News video screenshot