Englsih: This paper deals with school governing bodies’ (SGBs) understanding and implementation of legislation and policy on HIV/AIDS. It is based on research conducted in Mpumalanga by means of an authentic but hypothetically constructed case study relating to critical aspects of HIV/AIDS in the school context. School governing bodies were asked to respond to the case in terms of the action they would take if such a case occurred in their schools. Using focus group interviews with selected members of the SGBs, this research clarifies the level of understanding of HIV/AIDS legislation and policy in South African schools, and the practices likely to result from such understandings. The findings reveal the distance between policy and practice, and the need for vigilance with respect to the legal challenges which schools may face if they act without adequate knowledge and information on the pandemic.