Demoted principal faces assault trial

Sandile Mata, demoted from principal to deputy principal of Lingelihle High, plans to challenge the department’s decision.
Sandile Mata, demoted from principal to deputy principal of Lingelihle High, plans to challenge the department’s decision.
Image: Tembile Sgqolana

South African Football Association Chris Hani president and former Lingelihle High School principal Sandile Mata has been demoted to deputy principal after an internal inquiry found him guilty of kicking a pupil in her private parts in 2016.

Mata was suspended on July 22 2016 after the Grade 11 pupil complained of the incident and the provincial education department later found him guilty of the offence.

The girl’s parents, working with the Ilinge Township White Door Centre of Hope, reported the incident to the department and the police.

Education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima on Friday confirmed Mata’s case was finalised and that he had been demoted to deputy school principal.

“The court case will go its separate way,” he said.

Mata is on trial at the Ezibeleni Magistrate’s Court for the assault.

His case was postponed on Friday to July 20 so that the doctor who examined the pupil can testify in court.

Mata’s attorney Francois Mostert applied for the postponement after the doctor failed to appear in court.

Mata said he would take the department to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and the labour court, where he would declare a dispute on the ruling over his demotion.

“I am still waiting for the criminal case to unfold, then [I’ll] act after that.

“I noticed a bulletin [advert] has been released for the principal of Lingelihle High School,” he said, adding he did not receive a letter stating that he had been demoted, but a letter was sent to his bosses at Safa.

Found guilty of kicking a pupil in her private parts

The executive director of Ilinge Township White Door Centre of Hope, Xolile Mali, confirmed writing to Safa asking for Mata to be suspended with immediate effect.

“Mata cannot be leading Safa while there is a pending case against him.

“I also requested the department of education to communicate to us their decision on the case against Mata,” he said.

Mali said they were anxiously waiting for the court case to be finalised and for Mata to eventually face the consequences of his action.

Safa provincial secretary Isaac Klaas confirmed an e-mail was sent to Safa CEO Dennis Mumble and himself.

“The letter was sent at an internet cafe and there was no one to respond to.

“We replied to the e-mail asking the person to lodge a complaint properly,” he said.

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