MEC for Education to visit Kempton Park private school over hair controversy


The MEC for Education in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, is on his way to Windsor House Academy in Kempton Park following a series of complaints and allegations of racism regarding hairstyles.

Learners were allegedly kicked out of school because their traditional African hairstyles were deemed unacceptable by the school's principal, Mariette van Heerden. Van Heerden is yet to respond to our queries about the unfolding controversy.

Lesufi's office released a statement on Tuesday morning announcing his visit to the school "following a series of complaints and allegations of racism regarding hairstyles, and learners subsequently being kicked out of school on day one of Term 3."

Yesterday a Facebook post went viral claiming that a group of black girls were sent home because they were wearing their hair in braids and dreadlocks. 

Last year black learners at Pretoria High School for Girls organised a protest against the school authorities for prohibiting traditional African hairstyles like afros, bantu knots and dreadlocks and for insulting girls by telling them their natural black hairstyles looked like “a bird’s nest”. Lesufi also intervened when this case came to light, saying "black pupils were victims of racism and the school’s hair policy was enforced without sensitivity," according to News24.

According to the Government's website, the National Guideline on School Uniforms states:

“A school uniform policy or dress code should take into account religious and cultural diversity within the community served by the school. Measures should be included to accommodate learners whose religious beliefs are compromised by a uniform requirement.”

Learners and parents at the school have complained that their right to education has been compromised and that: "It has nothing to do with my education. She needs to make sure the school is working and avoid things like this because this does not matter. It’s just hair."

WATCH: Pretoria girls bring school to standstill amid racism allegations

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