The University of Venda (UNIVEN) Law Clinic under the Faculty of Management, Commerce and Law hosted a training for the School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and School Management Teams (SMTs) of schools in the Vhumbedzi Circuit on Wednesday, 05 July 2023. The event was aimed at training SGBs and SMTs around disciplinary hearings for SGB-appointed staff. The training took place at D-Block and was attended by about 220 people.

Ms Confidence Mphaho, Assistant Head at the UNIVEN Law Clinic, opened the training and welcomed all present. She congratulated the stakeholders present for attending the training in large numbers even though schools were closed for the winter vacation.

Ms. Mphaho

In her address, Ms. Mphaho introduced the Law Clinic as a law firm that offers free legal representation to indigent members of the community, including women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. She indicated that the Law Clinic also offers walk-in free legal advice to everyone who needs it, irrespective of their socio-economic standing.

Dr Thivhusiwi Sikhitha

Dr Thivhusiwi Sikhitha, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mercantile Law, with 16 years of legal experience, provided a detailed presentation regarding the Trends in the schools in Limpopo Province. The presentation focussed on the need for public schools to improve efficiencies in the professional management of schools as well as ensure a governance environment that could optimise teaching and learning outcomes. Dr Sikihitha explained the tripartite relationship envisaged in the South African Schools Act of 1996. She outlined the relationship between the community, the school and the State. She also detailed the issue of Stakeholder involvement and management which is a critical success factor in the achievement of learning outcomes.

Dr Sikhitha’s presentation adopted a preventive approach, highlighting the typical risks that could negatively impact teaching and learning at a school, as well as the strategies to mitigate such risks. She discussed at length the school principal’s responsibility in the management and utilisation of human and capital resources at the school and the role of the School Governing Body as a custodian of the assets of the public school.

Adv Walter Makulana

Adv Walter Makulana gave a presentation under the topic Preparation for a Disciplinary Hearing. Adv Makulana indicated that his presentation was focused on educating SGBs and SMTs at schools in the Vhumbedzi Circuit – about preparations for disciplinary hearings to circumvent the arbitrary dismissal of SGB-appointed employees.

His presentation also dealt with issues of procedural and substantive fairness from the perspective of the Labour Relations Act. He emphasised that SGBs and SMTs must be mindful of the constitutional rights of people in their interactions with school learners and employees, as well as other stakeholders; and warned them about the inherent repercussions should their actions be found to be inconsistent with the constitution.

Mr Ndivhudzannyi Masindi

Mr Ndivhudzannyi Masindi, Assistant Head of UNIVEN Law Clinic, was the final presenter of the day. His presentation was titled Understanding quasi-judicial proceedings. Mr Masindi outlined issues of procedural and substantive fairness relating to disciplinary hearings. He went on to explain the proper composition of the disciplinary hearing committee and the procedure of a disciplinary hearing from the opening address to the conclusion of the hearing. Masindi emphasised the essence of the proper constitution of disciplinary hearing committees and of strict adherence of proceedings to acceptable procedures.

Ms Lauraine Maliavusa

In her vote of thanks, Ms Lauraine Maliavusa, the Governance Manager at Vhumbedzi Circuit, thanked the presenters for their wonderful presentations. She indicated that the presentations would go a long way in broadening the stakeholders’ understanding of disciplinary hearings and would enable SGBs to better prepare for the disciplinary hearings going forward.

Law Clinic staff and presenters posing for a photo


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