School principal withholds learner’s NSC for more than 2 years due to non-payment of voluntary donation

A school principal in the Cofimvaba area withheld a learner’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) for more than 2 years as the parents could not afford to pay an outstanding R200 donation fee to the school.

It is illegal for any government school to demand a voluntary donation from any learner or parent.

Adam Maqobolo wrote his NSC examination in December 2015. His father, a pensioner, was forced by the principal to pay a R1400 donation and still owed R200 after selling his goats in an effort to pay off the donation. The principal withheld Adam’s NSC due to the outstanding R200 payment.

I visited Mr Maqobolo on 29 May 2018 with the local PR councillor, Pumelele Magazi. Both the father and the learner were distraught and desperate to retrieve the certificate as Adam has been unable to apply to tertiary education institutions without it.

I contacted the Superintendent General for Education, Mr Themba Kojana, who ensured that the certificate was delivered to the Cofimvaba district office. I collected the certificate on Friday, 5 June and handed it over to an elated Mr Maqobolo.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event as I have received numerous queries of this nature.

I urge the Department of Education to continue with a full investigation into principals of non-fee schools who demand donations from parents. This is illegal, unacceptable and goes against the constitution and Schools Act.

If no action is taken against this principal, the DA will consider referring this matter to the human rights commission and the public protector.  — Edmund van Vuuren MPL, Shadow MEC for Education.

See below a short video from the recent visit to the Cofimvaba district Education Department offices.