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27 Mar 2008 18:33
AfriForum on Thursday slammed a guilty verdict against the principal of the HoÃ«rskool Ermelo, who has been at the centre of a language row.
AfriForum’s deputy chief executive officer Alana Bailey said the Mpumalanga education department’s verdict against principal Koos Kruger was a disgrace.
“Kruger was found guilty of the charges against him by the department today [Thursday], but has till tomorrow to provide mitigating evidence, before a final decision will be made about his future,” said Bailey.
Kruger was suspended with full pay on charges relating to insubordination for allegedly contravening the Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998.
He allegedly failed to report to the department on the admission applications of pupils in November 2007.
Bailey said the department’s verdict was proof that political ideology carried more weight than a quality education.
“The education authorities have wasted so much effort on finding Kruger guilty, while the principals of hundreds of dysfunctional schools remain untouched,” she said.
In February, pupils from the school walked out of their classes in solidarity with Kruger. The pupils also asked for Kruger’s reinstatement and for the school to remain an Afrikaans-medium school.
AfriForum accused the department of manipulating Kruger’s hearing in that it had come to an end during the school holidays.
“Clearly the department wanted to avoid further protest action by the learners and therefore delayed the verdict until now,” said Bailey.
Bailey said that AfriForum, together with a number of parents, planned to mount a protest.
A petition has been published on AfriForum’s website where the public can post their comments.
“This campaign will also focus on collecting funds towards the costs of the school’s court case against the state, set to take place in the Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.”
Members of the public could donate R10 to towards the school’s legal fees by SMSing the word ERMELO to 38655.
According to Bailey, education authorities have created an artificial demand for an English education in order to promote an anti-Afrikaans agenda.
The department could not immediately be reached for comment.
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