Charges against Thembelihle principal, teacher withdrawn

FREE TO GO: Criminal charges against Thembelihle Public Primary School principal Bukelwa Mdlela, right, and teacher Bukelwa Mgwigwi were withdrawn in the Queenstown magistrate’s court this morning   Picture: LUVUYO MJEKULA

Common assault charges against the principal and a teacher of Thembelihle Public Primary School in Mlungisi were withdrawn in the Queenstown magistrate’s court this morning.

Principal Bukelwa Mdlela, 56, and teacher Bukelwa Mgwigwi, 45, made their second appearance in court after being released on a warning two weeks ago.

The charges against the two educators stemmed from an incident at the school on March 3. According to the charge sheet, the two allegedly threatened the complainant with physical assault.

The Rep learnt that the complainant is the son of another senior staffer at the school. The son had apparently gone to the school to deliver an item to his parent when the incident broke out.

In court today, Mdlela and Mgwigwi appeared with their private attorneys but the state prosecutor withdrew the charges against both women, pending further investigation.

“The case may rise again or it may never rise again,” the magistrate told the duo.

Both refused to comment when approached after court proceedings.

According to sources, an ongoing dispute between the school’s principal and her deputy has caused rifts among staff.

About 10 teachers accompanied the two when they made their first appearance on March 9, in a show of solidarity.

Provincial education spokesperson, Mali Mtima, at the time said the department had launched an investigation into the matter and it was in its final phase. Disciplinary proceedings would also follow, Mtima said.


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