Pupil back to school

A Grade 9 pupil who was suspended from Durban High School for allegedly drinking at school has been reinstated following provincial department's intervention.

Thabo Sithole, pictured, had been forced to stay at home for two months for allegedly drinking alcohol within the school premises.

The department said yesterday it was drafting a letter to the school to allow Sithole to continue with his academic activities .

Departmental spokesperson Mbali Thusi said the school had written a letter to the head of the department stating their reasons for suspending Sithole after the school's disciplinary committee had found him guilty of breaking the school's code of conduct.

But Thusi said the South African School Act gives schools the power to implement sanctions on an individual as punishment for disobedience and not suspension.

"A school can suspend someone but not expel him or her without informing the department. The school can write to the HOD requesting to expel someone and only the HOD can approve that.

"Sithole was supposed to be at school until the HOD's response, therefore the school will have to take him back with immediate effect," Thusi said.

Thusi said it was the department's priority to make sure that Sithole returns to class and gets help to make up for the lost time due to the lengthy period spent at home.

Provincial Cosas deputy chairperson Siphesihle Nzuza said during their meeting with the school management, Sithole was allowed back to the classroom.

Nzuza expressed his anger at school management, saying the long break would affect Sithole academically considering that he missed his first paper on Monday.

"Thabo is studying on a scholarship. Two months at home will not help him pass his mid-year exams. Whatever outcome is, we as Cosas are happy that he can now continue with his studies."