Regional Education Officer Lubombo Region
Applicant Mr. Dlamini
Defendant Mr. Graham
applicant is a minor duly assisted by his guardian. He is a Swazi
citizen and was and claims still to be a student at Ngomane High
School in the Lubombo Region. The relief he seeks is an order that
the respondents are directed to review the decision of the 1st
respondent and order that the applicant be admitted to Ngomane High
School. He also asks further or alternative relief.
relief claimed was originally in the form of a rule but the matter
was argued before any rule was granted. In these circumstances the
case must be read as an application for final relief of the nature
set forth in the notice of motion.
respondents are respectively the Headmaster of the School, the
Regional Education Officer who is the administrative head on issues
pertaining to education in the region, 3rd respondent is the
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, 4th respondent is
the Attorney General.
March 1999, the applicant relates, the school went to a music
competition in Manzini and the applicant has described how certain
misbehaviour took place on
time. He however claims not to have been party to the delinquency.
This application has nothing to do with delinquency. The exclusion of
the applicant from the school is based entirely on the refusal to
readmit the applicant after he had passed the third form and was due
to go into the fourth form.
regard to this the applicant himself said that during the month of
October students in Standard V and Form III are required to make
fresh applications for admission into the school.
like other students filled in the application form and handed it over
to the first Respondent."
received a reply on the 5th of November advising him that the 1st
respondent was unable to admit him back to school. He, for various
reasons, did not attack or question this exclusion at the time and
hoped that his success in the Junior Certificate examinations would
itself persuade the authorities to admit him to the school. When
however he presented himself to the 1st respondent for enrolment
before the school opened in the current year he was told that he
could not expect to be admitted to the school and was advised to try
applicant makes the point that prior to the refusal for admission no
hearing or whatsoever was conducted before a disciplinary committee
established in terms of Section 10 of the Educational Rules of 1997
and he says that he had a legitimate expectation that following his
satisfactory performance in the examinations he had written at the
end of Form III and his unblemished good conduct record would see him
admitted to complete his education at the school.
schools opened on the 25 January and the application was not made
until after the 2nd February being the day on which the founding
affidavit was signed.
answer of the respondents to this claim for relief is contained in an
affidavit attested to by the 1st respondent. He describes himself as
the headmaster of the school and says that he has read the
applicant's founding affidavit. He made observations on certain of
the irrelevant matters in paragraphs of the founding affidavit
wherein the allegations of misconduct or delinquency were mentioned.
A great deal of the affidavit is devoted to bring the official
version of an incident relating to the refusal of certain of the
students to eat food which had been presented to them and as I have
already said these allegations are not important in relation to this
Headmaster, the first respondent, admits the contents of paragraph 12
of the founding affidavit which I have already referred to and
paraphrased. It is to the effect that during the month of October
students in Standard V and Form III are required to make fresh
applications for admission into the school. The first respondent
points out that this is pursuant to a requirement contained in the
Ministry of Education Circular no. E37/73 dated 13th June, 1973. A
copy of the circular is attached to the affidavit.
the applicant's heads of argument the submission is made that the
applicant is not a new pupil at the High School whose admission to
the school is subject to Rule 45 of the Education Rules of 1977. It
is argued that a new pupil is one who has just been admitted at the
school and had his name entered into the school admission and
attendance register. In this connection I was referred to the guide
to school regulations and procedures a book issued by the Ministry of
Education. He submitted despite the admission, which is apparently
common cause, that prior admission of a pupil to Form I a pupil has a
legitimate expectation to proceed in the same school until Form V
that is provided he passes and is not expelled from school by the
Director of Education.
the light of the admission that was the practice commonly accepted at
the school that Form III pupils will have to re-apply for admission
to the senior part of the school it is difficult to understand why
such a legitimate expectation existed If an application had to be
made, it had to be considered, and the school authorities were
entitled to come to a conclusion on such application in the light not
only of the applicant's results but of his suitability in other
respects as to whether the application was to be accepted or not.
is evidence that the applicant is said to have used unauthorised
methods in relation to writing of his examination and no doubt this
may have been in the mind of the first respondent when he considered
the application afresh. There does not seem to be any valid reason
why the decision of the school authorities not to accept the
application for readmission to Form IV should be set aside and
accordingly the application is dismissed with costs.