Racism not core of coloured school protest – Gauteng Education Department

2017-08-05 07:38
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Johannesburg – Protest action against the newly appointed black principal at Klipspruit-Wes Secondary School was at its core not an issue of racism, the Gauteng Education Department said on Friday. 

The same department previously called protest action racist and said it went against the country’s "non-racial principles".

In a statement, the provincial education department said the main concern is over the appointment process and the procedures followed during the principal’s appointment. 

It said it would approach Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to institute an investigation of the process and procedure to appoint the school principal. 

On Thursday morning, Eldorado Park residents torched a Putco bus and blocked the K43 road. 

Anthony Williams from Patriots of Equality, a group representing coloured teachers in Eldorado Park, told News24 that racism is rife at the school. 

"Many of the children drop out of the school and are being told by black teachers that they are coloured bastards," 

Williams said a teacher at school had accused coloured girls of being on drugs and had said that they would be pregnant soon.

"This is what is going on at the school and no one is talking about it. Now they want us as a community to clap hands while there is a very clear suppression of who we are and what we have done," Williams said.

According to Williams, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has an operation called "Vat alles" [Take everything], which prevented coloured people from filling teaching positions.  

Sadtu has rejected the claims.

The Gauteng education department promised to approach the South African Human Rights Commission to investigate the allegations of racism in the area. Allegations of corruption and mismanagement would also be investigated by the department.

At a meeting on Thursday, community members agreed that teaching would resume with immediate effect following repeated disruptions since July 21, infrastructure development MEC Jacob Mamabolo said in the statement. 

"I am delighted that we had a progressive meeting with the committee, and MEC Panyaza Lesufi will also be pleased about the outcome."  

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg

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