Give us back our head, pupils tell KZN officials

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Black and Indian pupils at Greytown Secondary School in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands have vowed not to return to class unless the KZN department of education reinstates principal Karam Maharaj.

More than 1000 pupils and parents gathered at the school yesterday demanding that he be reinstated . Maharaj was suspended last Friday for misconduct after allegedly assaulting a pupil in 2006. The matter went to court, but was thrown out after the magistrate ordered that it be settled privately.

On Friday Maharaj was suspended by the department of education before it had completed a disciplinary hearing against him.

Parents, pupils and education officials met yesterday to try to resolve the matter. But the meeting was interrupted when pupils told the officials that they wanted Maharaj back. Maharaj has been a teacher at the school for 26 years and principal for nine.

Ram Bhagbath, spokesman for the school's governing body, said: "We met with the education officials who suspended Maharaj, but it was in vain. They don't seem to know what to do about the situation," he said.

"Pupils start writing exams next week. This issue has to be resolved immediately.

"The pass rate at this school is excellent thanks to the leadership skills of Maharaj," he said.