Neumann hearing : Intimidatory and abusive behavior is unacceptable
Statement by Brian Schreuder - Head of Department – Western Cape Education Department
The disciplinary hearing of Wesley Neumann, principal of Heathfield High School, is resuming today. Over the past few months the WCED, and some of its officials, have had to endure relentless personal attacks from Neumann supporters. The contents of these attacks have been appalling. References to Nazism, colonialism and racism have been quite common. They even went so far as to accuse one of our officials of bribery.
While we have much to say about the reasons for laying charges against Neumann, and the many false allegations made by his supporters, we have tried to ensure that we respect the legal process that is at hand - an internal disciplinary process between employee and employer.
Yesterday, however, things went too far.
A group of Neumann supporters, with young children in tow, arrived outside the house of one of our employees involved in the disciplinary process, making allegations of bribery, and vocally accusing him of committing a crime. The official and his family members were subjected to intimidation and abuse. Loudhailers were used to shout abuse outside his residence.
Stones were allegedly thrown at the house, injuring the official’s 85 year old father.
The WCED has advised the official to lay charges against the ringleaders concerned.
This behavior and intimidation is despicable and totally unwarranted.
The charges that have been brought against Mr Neumann are being contemplated in a hearing where he is being given a fair opportunity to answer them. The legal process must be allowed to continue unhindered by any party.
Similarly, the law must take its course with regards to the accusations of bribery.
Please see attached video.