'I was fired because I was not a yes-man'
CONTROVERSIAL Khutsong leader Jomo Mogale has been reinstated in his job as teacher at a local school.
Mogale, the SACP leader in the area, was fired in late 2007 by the North West education department.
He had taught at the Badirile High School for 23 years when he was fired for allegedly inciting school boycotts and "activities in the destabilisation of schooling in Khutsong".
Mogale led the township of 170000 people near Carletonville in riots after the municipality was incorporated into North West in 2005.
The decision to transfer the area had been taken by the ANC at its national conference in Stellenbosch in 2002 and was ratified by parliament in 2004, ostensibly to eliminate cross-border municipalities and "improve administration".
Khutsong was reincorporated into Gauteng in October last year.
Mogale was reinstated yesterday by Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy with immediate effect.
He had filed an unfair dismissal dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. When she consulted her lawyers, Creecy was advised to reinstate Mogale since the department could not win the case.
"He was fired because he led the community during the cross-border dispute, not because he was a bad teacher," Greecy said. "In reinstating him we checked whether he had a record of disrupting school and found that he was a good teacher."
Apart from getting his job back Mogale will also get two years' back pay.
He will return to work next week to teach history to Grade 9 and 12 pupils.
An elated Mogale said: "I feel that justice has been done to my family and the community of Khutsong.
"What hurt me the most was that I was fired by people who knew me. They fired me because I was not a yes-man."