Outrage over apparent 'segregation' in South Africa school

Laerskool Schweizer Reneke

The pupils were attending their first day at the Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke in the North West province when the teacher took a photograph to send to anxious parents, the Times Live reports.

Netwerk24 noted that the woman was severely traumatised.

"There was no intent of racism or segregation from the teacher's side... perhaps it could be a language issue".

Race relations remain tense in South Africa 25 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, with fierce racism-related controversies erupting regularly on social media and in politics.

"All I saw was messages from the white parents saying "dankie, dankie" ['thank you, thank you' on the WhatsApp group] but no one was saying anything about the separation of the learners", said the fuming mother.

"This was meant to be an exciting day for me but it's not", she said.

She revealed that just like all other parents, she dropped her child before being asked to leave the school premises.

While the school's governing body said it was technically open, many parents kept their children at home on Friday.




People pointed out the children were sitting separately according to their race. I was told from the beginning that the school offers Afrikaans as a medium of instruction and didn't have problems with that.

Lehari said Barkhuizen was suspended pending investigation but, irate black parents wanted her fired and the principal suspended.

"It is our firm view that schools, through its education ethos, have the role to instil values of dignity, respect, equality and tolerance for our learners".

The Human Rights Commission will be sending a team to the school.

The North West Education Department has called on parents and the broader community to allow it to finish its investigation.

On Thursday, the North West Education and Sport Development member of the executive council (MEC), Sello Lehari together with other senior managers visited the school to investigate the incident.

"The commission is deeply concerned that instances of discrimination and related intolerance continue to take place within the school system".

An education official said: 'We are not sure whether is fake or real, if it's real we are condemning it, we say not during this era, we can not really accept it'.

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