The Northern Cape Department of Education has noted with concern the state of affairs at the Kakamas High School. The school is facing several challenges that have rendered it dysfunctional and MEC Mac Jack has already taken steps to turn it around.


 One of the complaints that we received, relates to the appointment of Mr Coetzee as the Administrator of Kakamas High School.


After a proper background check on the matter, MEC Jack has reversed the decision to appoint Mr. Coetzee as the Administrator of Kakamas High School as from 1 October 2019.


As this is a very sensitive matter, we deem this decision to be in the best interest of learning and teaching.


In terms of section 18(1) (dd) of the Employment of Educators Act, it constitutes misconduct if an educator commits a common law or statutory offence. It can be deduced that any common law or statutory offence of a sexual nature by an educator will thus constitute sexual misconduct. However, the problem is that dismissal is not the obligatory sanction for misconduct committed in terms of section 18(1) (dd). Although this section is broadly defined and could cover all offences (including offences of a sexual nature) it results in sexual misconduct be indicated as “misconduct”, rather than “serious misconduct”. In fact, section 18(5) (d) specifically identifies rape as one of the offences contemplated in section 18(1) (dd). Section 18(5) (d) provides that an educator found guilty of rape may be dismissed. The fact that only rape warrants dismissal and that the dismissal is discretionary is not in line with section 17(1) (c) and (d) of the Employment of Educators Act. It is also in conflict with section 41(1)(a) of the Sexual Offences Amendment  Act, which provides that a person who has been convicted of a sexual offence against a child may not “be employed to work with a child in any circumstances”.


We do acknowledge that Mr Coetzee was found guilty of sexual misconduct in 2007, and subsequently dismissed out of the system for seven (7) years. In 2014, he was appointed in a temporary capacity, which is the prerogative of the Head of the Department, in line with the South African Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996, Employment of Educators act 76 of 1998 and the Personnel Administrative Measures (PAM).


Following the visit of MEC Mac Jack to Kakamas High School on the 7th of August, he observed that this school has become synonymous with ill-discipline, incidents relating to school safety, poor financial management, academic under-performance, school governance matters and vandalism. Our District office has assigned a task team to engage with the school on a weekly basis to address these matters. Our District office has developed a turnaround strategy for support to the Kakamas High School which focusses on the following:


-School Safety and Discipline

-School Infrastructure

-Learner Achievement

-Parental and Community Involvement

-Basic School Functionality

-Management and Leadership


Our District Office has already started with the implementation of the turnaround strategy and conducted meetings with the School Management Team, School Governing Body, parents and learners.


The physical condition of the Kakamas High School is a concern due to the vandalism in the community. Our Infrastructure Unit is aware of the structural needs and has engaged the Department of Roads and Public Works to do a compilation of specifications for the work that needs to be done with cost estimates, which includes the two classrooms which burned down.


Our efforts to recruit suitable qualified teachers were unsuccessful due to the unavailability of unemployed qualified teachers for these posts. However, we made the necessary interventions to ensure that the curriculum is fully covered by introducing one hour extra for learning and teaching from Monday to Thursday as well as weekend classes organised by the District office and the school.


We further appeal to the School Management Team, School Governing Body and the broader Kakamas Community to put their personal interests/differences aside and allow the Department to do its work and bring about the desired change to Kakamas High School. We also encourage all political parties to support us in our endeavour, as the situation now at Kakamas High School in unacceptable. Education is a societal matter, and now is the time to take Kakamas High School to its former glory.