Ricochet News

Legal Resources Centre sues Education Depts for R25 million

By Tai Chishakwe - Sep 18, 2014
Legal Resources Centre sues Education Depts for R25 million

The Grahamstown-based Legal Resources Centre (LRC) said on Wednesday that it had sent a writ of execution to the Sheriff of the High Court, in King Williams Town and Pretoria, to attach and take into execution the movable goods of the Eastern Cape Department of Education and the National Department of Education due to their failure to pay more than R25 million owed to teachers.

“In this matter, the LRC represents the School Governing Bodies of schools in the Eastern Cape who are seeking payment of those teachers hired by the schools to fill vacancies that the Department left open and asking that named educators be appointed permanently to the vacant posts at the schools,” the centre said in a statement.

“This was the first opt-in class action and resulted in a court order against the Department of Edu-action on the 20 March 2014. The Department consented to all the terms of the court order.”

The original applicants included the School Governing Body of Linkside High School in Port Elizabeth and the SGBs of 31 other affected schools in the Eastern Cape. However, after its certification, the matter grew to over 90 schools.

“Due to the Department’s failure to comply with the court order, the LRC has issued an application for contempt of court, due to the failure to appoint teachers, and has issued a writ of execution to attach the moveable assets of the Department, both nationally and provincially, to satisfy the debt to the schools,” the LRC said.

“The LRC has further requested the Department to adhere to court orders. Due to its inability to opera-ate within reasonable time frames, the LRC has tried to meet the Department on numerous occasions to accommodate their delays. However, the schools have become frustrated and will not con-tine to shift the burden of the Departments failure to appoint and pay teachers onto the parents of learners.

“It is worth nothing that, despite the dire conditions that many schools in the Eastern Cape, the Deputy Minister has heralded the Eastern Cape Department of Education for its performance.”