Alleged racist St John's College teacher should be fired - MEC

2017-07-27 20:32
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Christopher Moagi, Daily Sun)

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Johannesburg – A St John’s College teacher who was given a final warning for making racist remarks to pupils should have been fired, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Thursday.

He would meet the school’s management team on Friday to urge them to reverse their decision, he said in a statement.

St John’s College is an elite Anglican School in Houghton, Johannesburg. He was found guilty of "serious misconduct", the school's spokesperson Jacqui Deeks said in written answers to News24 on Thursday.

HuffPost SA reported that he allegedly told black pupils in his class that the only reason they got good marks was because they sat next to white students.

He admitted to disliking pupils in the sixth form because there were too many foreigners and called foreign nationals "aliens".

Deeks said an independent senior counsel found the teacher guilty. There were, however, "mitigating circumstances which did not warrant dismissal".

"St John's College would like to emphasise that it takes allegations of racism and discrimination very seriously and we are vehemently opposed to bigotry in any form and will not tolerate racist actions," Deeks said.

She said the school had established a transformation and diversity committee.

HuffPostSA reported that in a letter to the school, headmaster Paul Edey said that in addition to the final warning, the teacher was stripped of his senior position and had his salary and benefits reduced.

St John's College teachers reportedly applauded when Edey told staff that the teacher would not be fired. Edey said the teacher had to apologise to the affected pupils and their parents.

"He has also committed himself to being part of the process of restitution and reconciliation," Edey said.

In a letter obtained by HuffPostSA, Anglican Right Reverend Steve Moreo dismissed a request to investigate the allegations of racism at the school.

Read more on:    st john's college  |  panyaza lesufi  |  racism

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