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'Principal pulls firearm on two irate teachers'

By unknown | Jan 21, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A school principal said he had to use a firearm to restrain two furious teachers from attacking him when he tried to serve them with suspension letters.

The teachers were said to have been enraged and attacked Joe Tjale, principal of Thomo Primary School in Mankweng. Tjale is also a local executive member of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu), which suspended the teachers.

But the teachers - Obed Rangongo and Kgwara Mangena - deny threatening Tjale.

Mankweng police spokesman Malan Nchabeleng confirmed that Tjale had laid charges against his colleagues, who have also filed a counter-charge.

The three are expected to appear before the Mankweng magistrate's court today.

Tjale said he was insulted and assaulted when he handed the letters from Sadtu to the teachers. "I told them I was not fighting with them and that I was instructed by the union to deliver the letters, but they insisted on shooting the messenger," said Tjale.

"One of them tried to lock the door but I pushed it open and ran to the car. I got my firearm to protect myself but they kept on advancing towards me."

Tjale said: "I only used the gun to scare them off as they were attacking me."

But Rangongo told Sowetan:"He forced us to receive his stupid letters and when we refused he hit me on the forehead with his firearm."

Sadtu branch chairman Masethulele Magagane confirmed the suspensions, saying the pair had brought the union into disrepute.


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