Rivonia principal hauled over the coals

Principal Carol Drysdale faces charges of misconduct and insubordination.

Two pupils outside Rivonia Primary School. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt the Gauteng Education Department is hauling a Johannesburg primary school principal before a disciplinary hearing over the controversial admission of a grade one pupil.

The scandal erupted early last year when principal Carol Drysdale and Rivonia Primary School placed the pupil on a waiting list, claiming her parents were late in applying and the school had reached its capacity.

But the department intervened and the girl was marched into class, which led to a court battle that is yet to be resolved. The department and the school have already squared-off in the high court and the matter is now scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

At the heart of the dispute is who has the final say in determining capacity for government schools. But there are fears Drysdale, who has been charged with misconduct and insubordination, is being punished for standing up to the department.

The hearing, which is due to start on Tuesday after several failed starts, is being chaired by an experienced advocate. It was due to start last year but Drysdale and her legal team called for a postponement because they believed the people leading the disciplinary were not objective.

It appears all parties are now satisfied with the advocate chairing the matter.


Drysdale has around 30 years' experience, but her career is now under threat.

Those close to the school believe the department is making an example of Drysdale charging her with serious offences.

The department has always claimed the matter is not personal and is centred on making sure all children are accommodated.