This study investigated the dual role of the principal as an employee of the Department of Education and as an ex officio member of the governing body. The South African Schools Act distinguishes between professional management and school governance. This distinction may however give rise to conflict between the principal and the governing body, more especially if roles are not clearly explained, known and understood. For the purpose of this qualitative study, a multiple case study was considered to be the most appropriate research design strategy. Interviews, document analysis and observation were used to collect data. Chapter 1 gives a general view of the study while Chapter 2 focuses on the literature review. Chapter 3 deals with data collection and data analysis. Chapter 4 focuses on the synthesis of the findings and presents the recommendations of the study. The findings in Chapter 4 reveal that in many schools there is a power struggle between the principal, teacher and parent governors. It seems as if many of the problems experienced by principals and governors are due to the fact that they cannot distinguish between the concepts of professional management and school governance. Extensive training programmes for schools’ governors will be necessary to improve the quality of governance.