The principal of Grosvenor Girls’ High School in Durban should be charged with misconduct and reported to the SA Human Rights Commission for alleged racism.
KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu made the announcement on Monday as he published a five-page report in March detailing the findings and recommendations of an independent panel investigating allegations of racism and financial irregularities at the school.
The panel was chaired by lawyer Vusi Khuzwayo (SC). These included the evidence leader’s attorney Makhosini Nkosi, the educational psychologist Dr. Nontobeko Buthelezi, Jackie Pretorius-Bishop and SD Moloi Attorneys.
“The report leaves no doubt that its findings and recommendations are based on credible and verifiable evidence written out by different people. In this situation, I decided to accept all the panel’s recommendations and forwarded the report to the HOD for implementation. I have also directed the legal department to file a complaint against the principal with the Human Rights Commission,” Mshengu said.
He said principal Linda Jorgensen, who was suspended pending the completion of the investigation as a precautionary measure, was determined that they used derogatory, discriminatory and dehumanizing language when dealing with racial issues.
“There is a general feeling among African Aid workers that they are not treated with respect, dignity and courtesy by school management because of their race. This discriminatory and inhumane treatment comes from both white and Indian members of management.
“The principal speaks disparagingly of ‘township schools’ and does not hide her prejudice against schools in [the] township. Evidence was found that the principal was constantly yelling at African students, reminding them that Grosvenor Girls’ High is not a township school and they must return to those township schools. Educators are being told to hire more white learners because the school is owned by white learners.”
The panel documented instances of financial irregularities, including an example of mismanagement of R3.4 million reported by the department was investigated in 2018.
A preliminary report revealed misuse of school funds, non-compliance with policies and a lack of cooperation between the then school administration (SGB), the principal and the school management team (SMT). established. It recommended a further forensic investigation, but no further action was taken.
Recently, the panel found that Jorgensen and Deputy Principal Aarthi Brijraj allegedly had irregular procurement procedures at odds with fiscal policies and face charges of misconduct should the appointment of some staff members, including Brijraj’s sister.
Mshengu said the panel received evidence from former and current students, teaching staff members, general school officials, SGB members and parents. He said the department is satisfied that the panel met all requirements before coming up with its findings and recommendations.
Mshengu said racism at the school is “systematic, structural and that white authority covers all facets dominates at school”. .
The department recommended that:
- all appointments made by the Headmistress and the contracts she has signed with the staff concerned be reviewed;
- recently hired employees who do not meet the basic qualifications will be terminated;
- Jorgensen and Brijraj should be held liable for any monies paid to an employee who is found to have been hired in a position , which does not meet the basic requirements ; and
- Jorgensen faces misconduct charges related to offenses related to racism, irregular appointments of staff and financial irregularities.
Mshengu said the report was to KZN-Premier Sihle has been forwarded to Zikalala with a recommendation to set up a commission of inquiry into racism in schools in the province.
“We all have a duty to protect our students from any form of racist attitudes and to give them a better chance to be a generation that will live in a truly racially free South Africa. This depends on the protection they receive from authorities and general members of society alike,” Mshengu said.
Efforts to contact Jorgensen and Brijraj were not immediately successful.
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