JHB principal disciplinary a 'huge mistake'

The decision to discipline Principal Carol Drysdale has been described as a “witch-hunt”.

Learners outside the Rivonia Primary School. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Education Department's decision to discipline a Rivonia Primary School principal over the admission of a grade one pupil has been described as a "witch-hunt".

On Monday, Eyewitness News revealed that Principal Carol Drysdale was charged with misconduct and insubordination.

She is due to face a disciplinary hearing, which will be chaired by an experienced advocate, on Tuesday.

The saga began in 2011 when Drysdale placed a pupil on a waiting list because the learner had allegedly applied late.

The school also said it had reached its capacity.

But the education department intervened resulting in the pupil being admitted to the school.

This resulted in a court battle yet to be resolved.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools said the department was only disciplining Drysdale because she was an employee.

The federation's Deputy CEO Jaco Deacon said the department was making a "huge mistake".

"I think it is premature for the department to proceed with the disciplinary hearing, because the matter is now sub-judice [under judgment]."

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance education spokesperson Khume Ramulifho said the department's actions could do real harm to the school.

"Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy must stop interfering."

The case cuts to the heart of who has the final say on when a school has reached capacity.