The Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) has ordered the Gauteng department of education to reinstate Parktown Boys’ High School principal Malcolm Williams, who was dismissed by the department after the drowning of 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi at a school camp in January last year.
Williams was dismissed by the department in December 2020.
The department said at the time that it had found Williams guilty of two of the three charges he faced regarding a grade eight camp at Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge in the North West, where Enock died as a result of negligence during the unauthorised camp.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the department said it was disappointed with the bargaining council’s decision to have Williams reinstated.
“In its arbitration award between the Gauteng department of education and Mr Williams, the ELRC ordered that Williams be reinstated to his post on the same terms and conditions as before his December 2020 dismissal,” the department’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said in the statement.
Mabona said Williams would return to his duties on 1 July.
He said that the council had also ordered that Williams be paid for the six months that he had not been working.
“We are not fully happy about the outcome of the case, but also realise that this matter has been dragging for too long, negatively affecting all who are affected. In that light, we will look for advice from experts, with a view to finding a last resolution to the matter,” said Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
In May, the department reached an out-of-court settlement with the Mpianzi family, who had sued the department for negligence. Lesufi said at the time that the family had demanded R10-million and that the department would not oppose the matter.