‘No-pay stress put me in hospital’

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

He failed to move after schools’ merger, department says.

A teacher at a Gauteng government school claims he was admitted to hospital due to stress during the festive season because he was not paid his R15 000 December salary.

Christopher Zimba, who has been a teacher at Hoernle Higher Primary School in Soweto for 30 years, said the provincial education department also owed him for occupying the principal’s position in an acting capacity between January and December last year.

“My blood pressure went up after I realised I had not been paid. … I spent four days at Leratong Hospital in December receiving treatment for high blood pressure,” he said.

Zimba, 56, reported his plight to the provincial education district office and wrote to education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, to no avail.

Acting spokesperson for the education department Oupa Bodibe said Zimba’s salary was withheld as he ignored the department’s instruction in September to move to Jabavu East Primary School, which had merged with Hoernle Higher Primary School. He said Hoernle was officially closed in 2013.

“The community and school governing body vehemently opposed the closure, which resulted in teachers and pupils remaining at the school until 2015,” Bodibe said.

Zimba insisted he was unaware of the school’s closure and that the department only informed him in November of the merger.

– warren@citizen.co.za


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