Johannesburg – A Diepsloot school on Thursday allegedly prevented children of foreign nationals from attending classes.
A group of around 50 parents outside the Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot West said the principal told them their children could not attend classes because they were illegal immigrants.
Gauteng education department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said they were investigating the matter.
Zimbabwean Donias Tshuma acknowledged that he and his family were in South Africa illegally. He said his asylum had expired in October last year.
"We are here to take kids to school. My child is in Grade 8. They delayed giving me an asylum since October. My family is here illegally, but when we try to get the home affairs department to hear my case, they tell us we have to pay bribes," he said.
Tshuma said the principal had told them to take their problems to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba or Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
‘They are South African’
South African Boni Matontsi said her two nephews were turned away because their mother was married to a Zimbabwean.
"They are South African. Their mother is from South Africa, but she moved to Zimbabwe to be with her husband. Why are they being punished because their father is from another country?" she asked.
Matontsi said she had taken in her sister’s children because they could get a better education in South Africa.
"How can a school kick out young children? We are standing here because we want help. Please tell the media to come and see what they are doing to us. How can they tell us to go to Gigaba and Lesufi? I will not move until they take back my two nephews," she said.