Back to school for Schweizer-Reneke teacher after labour court victory

24 January 2019 - 11:15 By timeslive
'Justice has prevailed,' said teacher Elana Barkhuizen after the labour court ruled that her suspension by the North West government was flawed, unprocedural and unnecessary on January 24 2019.
'Justice has prevailed,' said teacher Elana Barkhuizen after the labour court ruled that her suspension by the North West government was flawed, unprocedural and unnecessary on January 24 2019.
Image: Solidarity/Twitter

Primary school teacher Elana Barkhuizen has won her labour court challenge against her suspension.

On Thursday, the court in Johannesburg found that her suspension by the North West education MEC Sello Lehari was flawed, as she was in the employ of the school governing board, not the department of education.

In addition, Judge Connie Prinsloo found that her suspension had been finalised without following due process.

Prinsloo said it was not necessary to suspend Barkhuizen and ruled that the suspension be lifted and Barkhuizen could return to work. 

The Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher was suspended after photographs that she shared to parents on WhatsApp sparked a race row.

One of the photos showed black Grade R pupils seated separately from their white counterparts. 

With trade union Solidarity, she brought an urgent application to set aside the suspension, with immediate effect.

Solidarity commented after Thursday's court ruling: "We will have discussions with the governing body this afternoon as to when she will be back at work."

Barkhuizen said: "Thank you to everyone who supported me. Justice has prevailed."


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