No progress on choice of principal

The parents of Toisekraal Public School pupils protested outside the education department Chris Hani district offices in 2019, demanding answers from the district director related to the appointment of a principal which they claimed was irregular       Picture:                            ANDISA BONANI

The parents of Toisekraal Public School pupils are still against the appointment of principal Aaron Mhlontlo, who has not worked a day since 2017 due to the education department’s lack of leadership on the matter.

The school has not had a principal since the post was advertised in 2015 and Mayenzeke Mtule has been acting in the position,  the preferred candidate of the parents.

Mhlonto was to be re-introduced to the school last month, but the department postponed the meeting.

When Mhlontlo was to be introduced to the school in 2018, parents led by members of the SGB, vetoed the meeting, claiming his appointment was irregular as he did not appear in a master list of shortlisted candidates.

Toisekraal SGB treasurer Mntumni Ma-Awu said the education department was not working with them to resolve the matter, but with some teachers at the school who had an interest in Mhlontlo’s appointment.

“We do not have a personal vendetta against Mhlontlo. Our problem is with the education department that listens to what the teachers of the school want, and not the parents. Why does the district director, Nicholas de Bruyn, want to impose someone who we clearly stated we do not want for valid reasons?” asked Ma-Awu.

SGB member Apolo Mekile said when they met the district director (De Bruyn) after his appointment in 2019, he told them Mhlontlo had been placed elsewhere and they welcomed the news, thinking the matter was finally resolved.

“We have asked the previous district director, Nkosinathi Godlo, where the recommendation letter from the SGB for Mhlontlo was, but they could not answer. They came up with an independent panel without informing us and appointed Mhlontlo without our knowledge. They are forcing him on us,” said Mekile.

Speaking to The Rep on Wednesday, Mhontlo indicated there had not been much communication from the department, except that they were working on it.

“I still maintain I do not have a problem being attached to another school, especially the under-performing high school because I have a good matric pass record from the previous school. The only problem with attachments is that there is usually a principal already and that leads to problems. All I want to do is work and I have made that clear to the department –  they should not impose me where I am not wanted,” said Mhlontlo.

He said he was called for interviews in August 2016 after applying for the job in 2015 while he worked at another school as principal.

“At the interviews I realised there were circuit managers from some areas of the Chris Hani education district, but I did not question that at the time because I was there for interviews and nothing else. I got the job offer in January 2017 when I realised there were issues about when I had to start work, but there were delays. It was only then that I realised the panellists during my interview were an independent panel appointed at provincial level due to squabbles in the SGB at the time. All of that has nothing to do with me, I went for interviews and got the job, but the parents do not want me and the department is stuck,” said Mhlontlo.

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