ANCWL supports Pretoria Girls High pupils

2016-08-29 20:03
Support grows in the crowd outside Pretoria Girls High. (Lerato Sejake/News24)

Support grows in the crowd outside Pretoria Girls High. (Lerato Sejake/News24)

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'We're tired of being oppressed for our hair' - PGHS student

2016-08-29 16:06

Students at a Pretoria high school have demonstrated over its dress code. WATCH

Johannesburg - The African National Congress Women’s League on Monday expressed support for the Pretoria High School for Girls pupils protesting against the alleged racism over black girls’ hair.

“Any form of reversing the gains of our democracy must be unashamedly exposed and unapologetically confronted by all of us,” ANCWL secretary general Meokgo Matuba said in a statement.

It backed the girls for “standing firm in dealing with the racism” at their school.

The public school was facing pupils’ wrath after black girls were allegedly told to straighten their hair.

According to the school’s 36-page Code of Conduct, pupils can wear braids, cornrows or dreadlocks, but only if they are a maximum of 10mm in diameter.

All hair has to be brushed, neatly tied back if long enough, and kept out of the face. No patterned cornrows are allowed. Longer braids have to be tied back. No decorations or beads are allowed in the hair.

 “No dyeing, bleaching, highlighting, colouring, colour washing, colour rinsing, or shaving of hair in any way is allowed.

“Singles/braids must be the same length and be the natural colour of the girl’s hair. Longer braids must be tied back.”

Nowhere does the code specifically forbid an afro hairstyle.

The girls however claimed school rules forbade African hairstyles such as afros, bantu knots, dreadlocks, and braids.

They alleged they were not allowed to speak their mother tongue and that a teacher called them monkeys when they were singing and chanting in class.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi met the principal and pupils to discuss the matter on Monday.

Read more on:    ancwl  |  education  |  racism

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