Allegations of racism between teacher, students at Roodepoort school untrue - SAHRC

Members of the SAHRC at a hearing on racism and social media. (sahrc.org.za)
Members of the SAHRC at a hearing on racism and social media. (sahrc.org.za)

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has determined that a racist incident at Tulip Combined School in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, involved an employee of the school and not students as originally thought.

Buang Jones, the commission's acting head of legal services, went on a fact-finding mission at the school on Tuesday after a teacher reportedly called a student a monkey.

However, the principal, Noluthando Nyandeni, told Jones that an employee at the school had called teachers monkeys.

Jones said the commission would hand the case over to the Gauteng Department of Basic Education as the school was also in the midst of an administration battle between its three directors.

Nyandeni said after she had heard about the incident, she lodged a complaint with Labour Net - a human resources company.

She added that once she had laid the complaint, charges were in turn filed against her.

"As we were busy interacting with this particular matter, one of the directors laid nine charges against me.

"The focus now was on those nine charges and [the incident] was ignored,” Nyandeni said.

Jones said although the commission was brought to the school based on allegations of racism between a teacher and students, it was not true. 

He added the department now needed to intervene in the interest of the pupils at the school.

Parents and teachers had a meeting about the racist incident as well as the administrative issues the school is experiencing. 

Many expressed their concern, saying their children were being distracted by the drama. 

They also called for a task team to look into the issues, saying it would be business as usual until the charges against the teacher reached an outcome. 

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