Can you be a sphandla-wearing Christian? Expert weighs in as Zulu parents sue private Sandton school

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A boy has had to change schools while his parents and his previous school lock horns over whether his suspension for wearing isphandla at a private Christian school was just.
A boy has had to change schools while his parents and his previous school lock horns over whether his suspension for wearing isphandla at a private Christian school was just.
Papi Morake/Gallo Images

As many families do for their children at a certain stage, the parents of this little boy from Durban had a ceremony for him that included the slaughter of a goat.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until his isiphandla, the traditional armband made from the goat's skin which he had to wear on the wrist as part of the traditional process, landed him in hot water on Monday when he got back to his Christian school in Joburg.

On the first day back at school, on a cold day in winter 2020, one of his teachers who noticed the isiphandla instructed him to wear a long-sleeved T-shirt to cover it. But things escalated when, the following day, the Grade 2 pupil and his father were met at the gate by the school's principal, Virginia Naidoo, with a letter of suspension, reports City Press

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