Alfred Moselakgomo and Sapa

Alfred Moselakgomo and Sapa

The Young Communist League has welcomed the dismissal of Ermelo High School principal Koos Kruger, it said yesterday.

Spokesman Castro Ngobese said it was sad that Kruger had sought to undermine national reconciliation and unity.

"This is a result of his reactionary actions of relegating Ermelo Hoërskool into an exclusive school for Afrikanerdom and laager supremacy.

"His Afrikanerdom and reactionary racial appeal should be fought and defeated by all our people, black and white," Ngobese said.

Kruger was fired on Friday by the department of education for insisting on the use of Afrikaans as the sole language of instruction at his school.

He was allowed to appeal the decision.

Ngobese said the use of Afrikaans was a narrow and reactionary tactic to discriminate against black pupils.

"We call for the amendment of the South African Schools Act, which will vest more powers in the ministry of education to fast track the transformation of our education system," he said.

The provincial department of education said that the presiding officer, Rony Mhlabane, based on the evidence brought before him, was left with no option but to fire the "stubborn" school head.

Yesterday the DA in Mpumalanga said the verdict against Kruger was an insult to the Afrikaner community.

"The fact that Kruger was charged in the first place and the predictable outcome exposes the ANC's perverted desire to drive Afrikaans as a medium of instruction out of schools," said DA leader Anthony Benadie.

"The department targeted Kruger because they could not silence the school governing body (SGB).

"The SGB is charged with determining the language policy of a school.

"It was merely exercising its rights, and Kruger had to carry out the instructions of the SGB accordingly," he said.

Benadie said it was blatant that the department's intention was to punish Kruger for the actions of the SGB.

"There is no doubt that the decision to find Kruger guilty and expel him was taken before the hearings even commenced."

But department spokesman Hlahla Ngwenya said: "Our message is loud and clear to all those school masters who are contemplating taking us on: We are the bosses.

"So it's either you shape up or ship out."