Response to ANC statement on Rustenberg Girls Junior School
I note the statement by Western Cape ANC education spokesperson, Theo Olivier, regarding the Rustenburg Junior school incident.
As usual, their point of departure is that if a person of colour is dismissed, it must be racism. He has clearly made no attempt to find out the facts in this matter, and whether there were good reasons for Ms Mthembu's resignation.
Olivier says they are "dismayed at the unclarified role" of Natalie Maimane. If her role is unclarified, what exactly are they dismayed about?
Ms Mthembu resigned after ongoing legitimate concerns that were raised with her. Out of respect for her privacy, these have not been disclosed.
The admission of wrongdoing by the school at the CCMA was because of issues of procedure regarding the process followed - SGB's are not experts in HR processes - not because of racism.
At the time we were also not aware of allegations of racism involving this Educator. The Educator was employed by the SGB and not the WCED. The Department therefore was not aware of the processes relating to the teacher's appointment and subsequent resignation.
I have also taken note of the allegations of the behaviour of some parents at the school, which, if true, is unacceptable. The SGB has informed me that they are working on a parent code of conduct which it has committed to make available to parents for comment before the end of the year. I will also ensure that parents are addressed on the unacceptability of such conduct.
There have been general issues raised by some members at the school regarding lack of transformation, and my Head of Department has taken an active role in the ongoing discussions that are taking place in that regard, in order to resolve them.
We are committed to building an inclusive society for all, and quality education for every child in every classroom in every school in the province, and will continue to work towards this.