School principal seeks order against PE churchman after alleged threats

Allegations of harassment and threats saw a well-known local churchman and a school principal facing off in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Morningside High School principal Dr Saraswathi Pather has sought the assistance of the courts and police, alleging that the Reverend Xolani Tengo was harassing, bullying and threatening her.

In papers filed by Pather, asking for a protection order against Tengo, Pather alleges he sent her numerous text messages and called her after hours and over weekends.

She also alleges that in 2013 Tengo came to the school with a firearm and threatened her.

Tengo asked magistrate Annalene Larson to postpone the matter so he could appoint a legal representative and file opposing papers.

Larson granted the request and warned both parties to be present at the next appearance. The matter will now be heard on June 2.

“There is no truth to the allegations [against me]. The allegations are not fact and that is why I decided to appoint a legal team,” Tengo said after appearing in court.

The pair have been at loggerheads since 2013 when Tengo first started appealing to the Department of Education to launch an investigation into the school’s financial affairs.

Tengo served as a member of the school’s governing body in 2013.

Last week, the Eastern Cape department of education said it was preparing to lay internal charges and a possible criminal complaint, following a probe into alleged financial irregularities at the school in Linton Grange.

The probe, which covered the 2013 to 2016 financial years at the school, found a number of alleged financial mismanagement issues and irregularities.

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