“[We are] still waiting for the department to submit their signed copy of the settlement agreement,” EE said. The matter would be re-enrolled once the documents had been submitted.
On October 11 an agreement was reached between the pupil, her school and the basic education department about the poor conditions at the school. “A settlement agreement signed by the parties on 12 August 2013 and made into an order of the Bhisho High Court, settles the matter,” EE said in a statement at the time.
EE said the pupil, Palesa Faith Manyokole, initiated legal proceedings against the Moshesh Senior Secondary School’s principal, its governing body, the provincial and national education departments, and Motshekga. “Learners from the school first wrote to Equal Education in 2012 to ask for the organisation’s assistance,” it said.
EE visited the school and found that the principal had spent nine months out of school, there were not enough teachers, that some did not attend school, there were too few textbooks, and that conditions at the hostel were appalling.
Eastern Cape education spokesman Loyiso Pulumani said at the time that the department was satisfied and relieved that common ground had been found. “A dedicated team was placed to focus on making these rather urgent improvements. We have a very able head of that district, and we are confident that indeed the issues will be dealt with.”
EE said that in June the department said it had probed financial mismanagement at the school. It said the principal was suspended, and an acting one was appointed to improve the school.
The department said the school was underperforming and that it would try to address the issue. Two months later, the agreement was reached. One of the provisions was that the department submit a progress report a month after the order was signed.