The vacant Principal post at Olehile Manchwe Intermediate School was advertised in an open vacancy list with the posts of other schools in the province.  The Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 prescribes that all vacancies in public schools must be accessible to all who may qualify and are interested in applying for such posts both provincially and nationally.  The Act further prescribes that all qualifying applications must be submitted to the governing body of the relevant school that is responsible for the shortlisting, interviews and at the conclusion of the interviews the governing body must recommend three candidates, in order of preference, to the Head of Department for his consideration and approval.


The governing body complied with the requirements as set out in the Act and recommended three names to the Head of Department.  It should be noted that in providing the three names as a recommendation, the governing body accepts that all three candidates are appointable at the school.  The Head of Department accepted the three names recommended to him by the governing body.  It should be noted that the Act clearly indicates that despite the order of preference submitted by the governing body, the Head of Department has the right to appoint any suitable candidate from the three names submitted to him.


The Head of Department appointed Mr. K.I. Oliphant, whom the governing body scored as the best candidate.


It has come to the Departments attention that the learners are not attending school because of the SGBs dispute w.r.t. the appointment of the school principal.  The dispute does not entitle the SGB, any parent, educator or other person to deny learners of their constitutional right to education.


In terms of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, every parent must cause every learner for whom he or she is responsible to attend school, and parent or other person who prevents a learner from attending school, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six month.


The governing body has accordingly been requested to ensure that learning and teaching resumes with immediate effect since learners have a constitutional right to education.


Should the current state of affairs continue, the department will be left with no option but to close the school and move learners and educators to schools that will serve their educational needs.  The department needs to emphasise that the power to close a school temporarily, vests in the office of the Head of Department.


Thank you