On bail principal still gets pay

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A suspended KwaZulu-Natal school principal, who allegedly hired a hitman to murder his deputy, will still draw his salary despite being out on bail.

Nqabeni Mbatha was suspended last week after spending 10 days in jail on charges of plotting the murder of his deputy, Sabelo Mkhize.

He was released on R5000 bail three weeks ago. His return to school caused chaos and teacher unions demanded that he be suspended.

The unions argued he was a threat to other teachers.

Other allegations were that Mbatha had dipped into school funds to secure R20000 to pay for the hitman.

The provincial department of education revealed this week that they were not aware of Mbatha's arrest, saying they only heard about it last week.

"We were not aware of the criminal charges against the principal and his initial arrest.

"MEC Ina Cronje' was alerted last week and acted swiftly to suspend Mbatha with immediate effect," said spokesman Mbali Thusi.

Thusi said Mbatha would be paid until the outcome of the department's internal investigation.

"While the disciplinary hearing is under way, he will receive his full salary."

Yesterday, the National Teachers Union called on the education department to speed up the investigation, saying that should it be established that Mbatha was guilty, "he should not receive a cent of taxpayers' money".