Rivonia principal 'forced' into guilty plea
Rivonia Primary School principal Carol Drysdale yesterday agreed to plead guilty to charges of gross insubordination so that she could go back to doing "what she does best - work as a teacher".
Gauteng's department of basic education hauled Drysdale before an internal disciplinary hearing after she refused to admit a pupil into the school last year.
The school governing body had previously argued that classes were full and the pupil was fourth on the waiting list.
Provincial education spokesman Charles Phahlane said Drysdale was charged because she ignored the head of the department's instruction to allow the child in .
Although a legal case is currently before the Supreme Court of Appeal, the department still went ahead with a disciplinary hearing .
The hearing revolves around whether or not the head of the department had the right to overturn the school governing body's decision.
School governing body head Paul Lategan said "the department wanted [Drysdale's] dismissal because she stood up to them".
One teacher, who did not want to be named, said: "This would only happen in South Africa. She is phenomenal."
During the first day of her disciplinary hearing, Drysdale pleaded not guilty.
But yesterday, in order to avoid substantial legal costs, Drysdale pleaded guilty and the department agreed not to fire her.
The department wants to issue Drysdale with a final written warning and a one-month salary fine, but while her lawyer is asking for an ordinary written warning.
Chairman advocate Terry Motau SC will pass judgment in a month once written arguments in mitigation of sentence have been submitted.