A School governing body has taken the blame for a principal who is accused of accepting money from a construction company to illegally dump waste at the school.
Nadeem Hendricks, 61, of Trafalgar High School and a co-accused were arrested by the Green Scorpions in May for allegedly putting pupils and the environment at risk, according to Western Cape environmental compliance and enforcement director Eshaam Palmer.
It is alleged Hendricks leased out a portion of the school’s property to a company so that large volumes of demolition waste could be stored and disposed of during construction opposite the school.
For this, the company allegedly paid Hendricks a total sum of R160 000.
On Friday, the SGB admitted it was them, and not Hendricks, who leased out the land.
While the land is officially part of the erf of the school, the SGB confirmed in a statement that it had taken the decision to lease part of the property, which contradicts the South Africa Schools Act.
It said: “The SGB took the decision to lease the piece of property as a form of income for the school and instructed (Hendricks) to execute their instruction. It is therefore concluded that Mr Hendricks cannot be held responsible for leasing the land, but the school governing council.”
With regards to the claims of illegal dumping, the SGB said neither it nor Hendricks had granted permission for dumping.
This was allegedly done by the company that leased the property.
Hendricks was unable to comment as the matter is before the court.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, dumping carries a maximum penalty of R10 million and/or 10 years imprisonment per charge.