- Statistics were revealed in a written parliamentary question from the ANC to Education MEC Debbie Schafer.
- Schafer's spokesperson Kerry Mauchline told News24 the 250 teachers sanctioned in 2019/20 are from around 225 schools, and the 88 teachers approved in 2020/21 are from about 80 schools.
- Equal Education Law Centre's senior attorney Tarryn Cooper-Bell said the majority of the sanctions imposed in the transgressions listed by the Western Cape Education Department involve punitive sanctions.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has sanctioned 250 teachers, 33 principals, and 53 education department officials for fraud, assault, and financial mismanagement.
These statistics were revealed in a written parliamentary question from the ANC to Education MEC Debbie Schafer.
In the written reply, Schafer revealed that during 2019/20 the 33 principals were sanctioned for several transgressions, including sexual harassment, improper conduct, assault, theft, and financial mismanagement.
Around 31 school management team members were also sanctioned. Schafer also said 88 teachers were approved in 2020/21.
Schafer's spokesperson Kerry Mauchline told News24 the 250 teachers sanctioned in 2019/20 are from about 225 schools, and the 88 teachers approved in 2020/21 are from about 80 schools.
"It is concerning when staff members engage in misconduct, and they must be held accountable for this. Failing to do so would undermine the principles of good governance, accountability, and the rule of law," she said.
Mauchline said the education department investigates every complaint of misconduct that is reported.
"We absolutely do not - and will not - try to find ways for staff members to avoid sanctions when found guilty of misconduct through a disciplinary hearing. That would be highly improper and set a dangerous precedent that misconduct is acceptable," she said.
ANC deputy chief Whip in the provincial legislature Muhammad Khalid Sayed said: "The ANC has noted a disturbing trend from the WCED of slapping officials on the wrist for serious transgressions such as financial misconduct, sexual misconduct, and racism. The ANC condemns (the) DA's soft handedness for racism and calls for harsher sanctions for racist educators in the province."
Equal Education Law Centre's senior attorney Tarryn Cooper-Bell said the majority of the sanctions imposed in the transgressions listed by the WCED involved punitive sanctions such as final written warnings and fines being imposed on principals, teachers, and officials.
"This, however, does not guarantee that these offences will not be committed again, particularly in light of the finite nature of the sanctions."
In many of these transgressions, there was a need for support and accountability, which meant that remedial sanctions combined with other forms of sanctions would likely be more effective and prevent employees from becoming habitual offenders.
"It would also greatly assist the principal, teacher, or official to properly understand what they did wrong and develop the required skills to operate more effectively in the work place."