'It's racial' - couple take Paul Roos school to Equality Court

2015-10-06 17:04
Vuyokazi Dyani outside the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Vuyokazi Dyani outside the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The parents of a 15-year-old boy, whose application to Paul Roos Gymnasium was rejected last year, have taken the school to the Stellenbosch Equality Court.

Vuyokazi and Mzimasi Dyani are accusing the boys' school of discrimination and racism, after she was allegedly told to enrol her child at a school in Kayamandi "because that's where he belongs".

"It's racially [motivated] – it's not right for the principal to tell me that," Vuyokazi said outside the court.

"Gone are the days where they could tell us to take our children to the black schools. We are in the new South Africa."

The parties appeared in court on Tuesday. The matter was postponed to November 3.

The couple has also laid a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission, which is still under investigation.

Vuyokazi, a teacher, said her son was currently attending a private school in Durbanville.

"But he is not doing well. He wakes up at 04:00, travels 3km to the station where he takes a train from Stellenbosch to Kraaifontein, takes a taxi to the Main Road in Durbanville and then still walks another 3km to school. It affects him," she insisted.

Paul Roos, however, is 4km from her home, Vuyokazi pointed out.

"We see buses with kids being transported here from Durbanville, Strand and Somerset West. Why is there no space for our kids?

"My son is frustrated. He is a good rugby player, but spends his weekends at Paul Roos watching his former teammates from Rhenish Primary play matches. It’s not right."

School rector Jannie van der Westhuizen referred News24 to a statement by the school’s governing body chairperson published on its website.

It was confirmed a complaint was also lodged with Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer, leading to a "proper investigation into the matter... by the Western Cape  Education Department".

"We are glad to inform our parents that the outcome was extremely positive for the school. The conclusion was that the admission process of the school was deemed to be ‘fair and consistent with the relevant law’, and the appeal of the parent was dismissed.

"Unfortunately this is not the end of the matter, as the parent has lodged a complaint with the Equality Court. As a school we are committed to the upholding of the constitution and the protection of rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Parents will be kept informed as the process develops."

Protesters outside the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Read more on:    equality court  |  cape town  |  education

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