Parents, pupils fight for principal

CLASSES were disrupted in schools in Kokstad, southern KwaZulu-Natal, when parents, pupils and teachers staged a solidarity protest.

They were protesting against the expulsion of Carl Malcomess High School principal Mbulelo Mankae.

Teaching and learning at the schools came to a standstill yesterday when the annoyed protesters demanded the reinstatement of Mankae.

Mankae was allegedly dismissed by the provincial department of education last week after allegations that he promoted pupils to Grade 12 though they had failed Grade 11.

The protesters were from various schools, including Shayamoya, Horseshoe, Carl Malcomess, Seven Fountain and Xolo-Xolo high schools. They blocked roads leading to the local town.

The protesters also demanded that local education manger Cyril Mabhija be axed. Mabhija is accused of reserving posts for friends and their girlfriends.

The protesters further demanded the immediate payment of teachers who have not been paid their salaries since January.

On Monday Grade 12 pupils at Carl Malcomess High boycotted classes and missed their June mathematics examination.

Protest organiser Andile Matomane said among the burning issues they faced was the nonrecognition of the school governing bodies.

"We demand that all decisions involving our schools in the area should be taken according to our knowledge and the involvement of school governing bodies," he said.

"We want a meeting with education MEC Senzo Mchunu so that he can explain whether he is aware of the decisions taken at the school."

The protesters handed a letter to Sisonke district education manager Sipho Mdletshe. Provincial education spokesperson Muntu Lukhozi promised the department would investigate the matter.