Principal, teacher suspension at ‘racist’ school welcome

2013-06-07 13:22

The suspension of a teacher and principal at a primary school in Bloemfontein following allegations of racism was welcomed by the National Congress of School Governing Bodies (NCSGB).

“The NCSGB welcomes the decision of the Free State department of basic education to suspend a teacher and principal of Wilgehof Primary School in Bloemfontein,” it said today in a statement.

The congress also welcomed the department’s investigation into allegations of racism at another Bloemfontein primary school.

Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe said yesterday that the principal, and the history and life orientation teacher, who was allegedly responsible for a racist display and for making racist remarks at the school, had been suspended.

A decision on their futures at the school would be made, pending an investigation, he said.

The NCSGB reiterated that racism had no place in South Africa’s democracy and needed to be dealt with harshly.

“Our people must report racist acts without any fear or favour. We call upon those who practise racism in our schools to refrain or resign with immediate effect.”

In a Grade 7 classroom at the school, the old South African flag was reportedly on display, along with a picture of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema alongside that of a monkey.

Department spokesperson Howard Ndaba said today the department had received a complaint from a parent on Monday.

“We immediately went to the school and confirmed those images. We instructed that they remove those images,” he said.

“We decided to investigate the matter further, and suspended the teacher to allow for the investigation.”

The principal was also later suspended to allow the investigation to take place.

The principal was suspended yesterday, and the teacher on Tuesday.

“We view the allegations in a very serious light. The investigation is continuing and we are hoping to complete it within 30 days,” he said.

“We condemn such acts of racism and allegations of such. We want to assure the public we will do everything in our power to make sure we root out such acts in our schools.”

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