Teachers called out for racism at Pretoria Girls High

The Gauteng Department of Education has confirmed incidents of racism at Pretoria Girls High School.

Earlier this year, the school made headlines after learners protested discriminatory treatment by teachers and the school's code of conduct. The matter sparked national debate about race and identity politics in post-democratic South Africa.

Indeed, there were some acts of racism within the school. One in particular where teachers were calling learners monkeys.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng education MEC

In response to the matter, MEC Panyaza Lesufi intervened and investigated the matter. Among the allegations leveled by learners was being called monkeys by white teachers and being instructed to use damaging chemicals to straighten their hair or face being barred from writing their exams.

Lesufi said disciplinary action has been instituted against some teachers who showed the department the "middle finger". The outcomes of disciplinary action would be concluded by mid-January 2017.

We're not going to be punitive, we're going to be corrective... Where we believe it matters beyond correction, we have taken disciplinary action.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng education MEC

The school was initially hostile towards the department's intervention and threatened legal action, however, the school has changed their approach and started cooperating with officials.

He said the recommendations of the report are legally binding.

The school has extended their apologies to all the learners, especially black learners. They have committed to work together with the team that I've appointed to turn the school around.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng education MEC

Listen to the full inerview with 702/Cape Talk's Eusebius McKaiser below:

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