Disciplinary action will be taken against a public school principal in KwaZulu-Natal who is alleged to have made matriculants pay R500 in order to receive their exam results.
Matriculants claim that the acting principal of Tugela Secondary in Mandeni, on the province’s north coast, asked them for the money.
Parents who spoke to Sunday World claimed that the students had to pay R500 every three months to cover the costs of a matric physics teacher that the school governing body had hired.
The learners’ results were withheld when they failed to cough up.
After the release of the 2023 matriculation results over a week ago, things reached a breaking point.
Parents and students who arrived at the school to pick up their matriculation statements were shocked to learn that the principal had decided not to disclose the results.
He told them that until the money was received, the results would not be released.
Parents who spoke with Sunday World expressed resentment towards the head of the school.
“We are talking about more than 40 learners who, in each quarter, had to pay the R500 fee,” lamented Philani Mlondo, one of the aggrieved parents.
“Some parents had no choice but to pay the money because the principal made it clear that those who refused to pay would not get their results.”
The loan shark intervenes
Another parent, Khumbu Masombuka, claimed that he had to take out a loan because her daughter had applied to several universities for a degree in mechanical engineering and the results were required.
“My daughter passed with flying colours, and the results were needed at the university where she had been accepted,” said Masombuka.
“When the principal refused to release the statement of results, she couldn’t handle it. She cried hysterically.
“I had to approach a loan shark because it was the middle of January, and we had no money.”
The department threatens action
Parents also expressed concern about the fact that they did not receive receipts even after paying the requested amount.
Attempts by Sunday World to get a comment from Mhlongo were not successful.
Mhlongo’s actions, according to the provincial department of education, amounted to fraud and corruption.
“As the department, we are utterly shocked. This is against the policy, and there would be repercussions,” said Muzi Mahlambi, the spokesperson for the department.
Universities consider the statement of results when making a final decision about whether to accept or reject a prospective student.