Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi has welcomed the immediate suspension of a Northriding High School teacher who on Thursday used the k-word to refer to her pupil.
The teacher also used “baboons and drug dealers” in reference to her pupils.
The incident was captured on video. It took place in a Grade 8 Afrikaans class on 6 May during an altercation between a female teacher and a learner.
Lesufi visited the school on Friday morning after reports that the teacher called one of the students a ‘kaff*r’.
“As a Department, we are extremely disappointed about this incident, racism will never be tolerated in our schools,” said Lesufi.
He said educators must always teach and guide learners, not fight them.
It is being reported that the altercation between a grade eight learner and the educator occurred on Thursday, where the learner was making a noise in the classroom.
“From what we are told, during the altercation, the educator sprayed the learner with sanitizer and he left the classroom to inform one of the teachers in the other classroom,” said Lesufi.
Learners further said the accused educator had another altercation in a different class where she called the learners ‘baboons’, ‘kaff*r’ and drug dealers.
“It is a traumatic experience for us and for the child and other kids that were in class. We are very angry about this,” said the learner’s father.
The father expressed shock and said one would think that they would never experience such an incident in 2021.
“We may have experienced this when we were younger but in 2021 for a 14-year-old to go through such is not a good thing,” said the father.
The father said they have engaged the school and they have given them an assurance that the matter will be handled.
“We have had a long discussion with the parents who came to see me, I wouldn’t want to share information at this stage as the situation is sensitive,” said the school’s principal, Francios Oosthuizen.
After discussions, the department’s spokesperson Steve Mabona addressed the media outside the school.
“We received the information about the alleged racism via social media, and felt that we needed to visit the school to get a better understanding about what transpired,” said Mabona.
He said the department has welcomed the move for the accused educator to be suspended with immediate effect.
“We have instituted the suspension of the teacher on Thursday afternoon and have informed superiors accordingly and are awaiting the outcome of the process,” said Oosthuizen.
Oosthuizen said the department has offered psychosocial services to the learners and staff who have been affected by this incident.
“The District has also briefed the affected parents on decisions taken on this matter while also extending professional support,” said Lesufi.