Ermelo school head suspended

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Mpumalanga department of education has suspended Hoërskool Ermelo principal Jacobus Kruger.

This was after the department had learnt that this year's intake of English-speaking pupils at his school had been placed in the school hall and were yet to receive lessons.

The department charged that the incident was discriminatory.

Kruger was suspended with effect from yesterday. The department has appointed Caf Hlatshwayo, current Ermelo circuit manager, as caretaker principal until further notice.

Department spokesman Hlahla Ngwenya said: "Kruger is suspended with full pay and may not enter the school administration block without authorisation of the regional director, Nokuthula Mthethwa."

Ngwenya said Kruger was suspended on the grounds of allegations of misconduct for which the department had charged him in terms of the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 as amended.

"Allegations of misconduct for which Kruger was charged will, however, not be disclosed until the disciplinary inquiry process is complete," said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya added that Kruger would be afforded an opportunity to state his case at a hearing scheduled for January 30.

In February last year, a full bench of the high court set aside an earlier ruling and ordered the school to admit English-speaking pupils.

Hoërskool Ermelo is one of only two Afrikaans-medium schools in Mpumalanga.

The school has, for a number of years, accommodated black pupils who chose to be taught in Afrikaans.

But this week the school management put all English-speaking pupils enrolled in Grade 8 this year in the school hall, saying there was not enough space for them.

Ngwenya said the department had forced the school to register English pupils without ensuring there were enough resources.