By Celani Sikhakhane
Infighting over the position of principal in the most notorious primary school in KwaZulu-Natal has had a fiery result: the home and cars of the new principal have been burnt to ashes.
The fighting over posts has been so virulent that last year some teachers turned up for work accompanied by bodyguards. Some teachers even had court orders against each other growing out of the infighting taking place as far back as 2018
Resentment of the new principal is the latest development. It is alleged that angry Nongoma community members were up in arms over the appointment of Barbie Mbatha Mazeka as the new head of KwaNogcoyi Primary School after she lodged a dispute over the employment of another teacher.
A source told Scrolla.Africa that community members stormed her home on Sunday night and burnt Mbatha’s mansion with her two cars.
It is a weapon that has been used before. It is understood that her office was burnt soon after she was announced as the new principal of KwaNogcoyi Primary School on 18 May, to start on 1 June.
“This thing started when Mbatha Mazeka was brought back to be a teacher from her early retirement,” said a source.
“She was then appointed to be an HOD. Some teachers and parents were divided in such a way that chaos and infighting emerged inside the school even during class hours. The fight was then turned into a war between two rival teachers’ unions, Sadtu and Natu.”
A teacher explained that Barbie Mbatha Mazeka’s appointment made other teachers and parents believe that there was corruption taking place on her employment by educational district authorities in Vryheid. She said she actually resigned from teaching some years back to take an early retirement package.
“She built a beautiful mansion which was turning heads in the area. She then returned to the system to work at KwaNogcoyi Primary. It’s painful to see her house destroyed like this.”
When Mbatha Mazeka was contacted, her phone was answered by a woman who said she was busy and couldn’t talk.
KZN MEC for Education Mbali Fraser slammed the incident and urged police to arrest those involved.
Police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said an investigation is underway and no arrest has been made so far.
He confirmed that several cases of attempted murder and arson have been opened with Nongoma Police Station.
Pictured above: Newly-appointed principal of KwaNogcoyi Primary School in Nongoma, Barbie Mbatha Mazeka, whose house was burnt down on Sunday night
Image source: Supplied