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South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996)

Chapter 2 : Learners

8. Code of conduct



1) Subject to any applicable provincial law, a governing body of a public school must adopt a code of conduct for the learners after consultation with the learners, parents and educators of the school.


2) A code of conduct referred to in subsection (1) must be aimed at establishing a disciplined and purposeful school environment, dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of the quality of the learning process.


3) The Minister may, after consultation with the Council of Education Ministers, determine guidelines for the consideration of governing bodies in adopting a code of conduct for learners.


4) Nothing contained in this Act exempts a learner from the obligation to comply with the code of conduct of the school attended by such learner.


a) A code of conduct must contain provisions of due process safeguarding the interests of the learner and any other party involved in disciplinary proceedings.
b) The code of conduct must also provide for support measures or structures for counseling a learner involved in disciplinary proceedings.


6) A learner must, be accompanied by his or her parent or a person designated by the parent at disciplinary proceedings, unless good cause is shown by the governing body for the continuation of the proceedings in the absence of the parent or the person designated by the parent.


7) Whenever disciplinary proceedings are pending before any governing body, and it appears to such governing body that it would expose a witness under the age of 18 years to undue mental stress or suffering if he or she testifies at such proceedings, the governing body may, if practicable, appoint a competent person as an intermediary in order to enable such witness to give his or her evidence through that intermediary.


a) An examination, cross-examination or re-examination of a witness in respect of whom a governing body has appointed an intermediary under subsection (7), except examination by the governing body, must not take place in any manner other than through that intermediary.
b) Such intermediary may, unless the governing body directs otherwise, convey the general purport of any question to the relevant witness.


9) If a governing body, appoints an intermediary under subsection (7) the governing body may direct that the relevant witness must give his or her evidence at any place which -
a) is informally arranged to put that witness at ease;
b) is arranged in a manner in which any person whose presence may upset that witness, is outside the sight and hearing of that witness; and
c) enables the governing body and any person whose presence is necessary at the relevant proceedings to hear, through the medium of any electronic or other devices, that intermediary as well as that witness during his or her testimony.