Mbongeni Mtshali, former principal of Velabahleke High School in Umlazi. He retired after serving the school as a principal for 26 years. He is well known for his dedication and for instilling discipline towards his learners. Mtshali defines himself as “auto-democratic” — an autocrat and a democrat, all in one. He listens, but also has to draw the line. Not an uncaring autocrat, but a firm one who relies on discipline defined in several forms, all his own.
“To be a principal does not make you a special person. It means you must be at school all the time and lead all the time”
At the Mtshali’s retirement, Sizwe Nxasana, a former pupil, said Velabahleke shaped him into the man he is today. He praised Mtshali for putting Velabahleke on the map. and for “taking it to an international level”.