Update On Racism Investigation At Pretoria Girls High


Gauteng education department has postponed the briefing on the outcome of an investigation into alleged racial discrimination at Pretoria Girls High.

On Wednesday morning, the department disclosed that Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi will no longer unveil racism reports as promised earlier.

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An investigation by education authorities into allegations of racial attack at Pretoria Girls High was established by Lesufi after Pupils at the school cried foul in August‚ claiming school authorities had subjected them to racism over a long period of time.

Earlier this month, MEC Lesufi confirmed that he had received a finalized report on the matter from the constituted investigation panel. He, however, promised to release the report immediately the pupils finish their examination.

“I’ve got the report‚ but I won’t be reckless and release it while they’re writing exams and harm their emotions again‚” Lesufi posted on Twitter earlier this month.

In August, black learners in Pretoria Girls High made the headlines when they marched in protest against racism row in the school. This captured the attention of South Africa with many people pledging support for the girls.

The pupils alleged that they were forced to straighten their hair as part of school rules because afro hairstyles are deemed inappropriate and untidy.

According to them, the school authorities also barred them from speaking their mother tongue, accused them of conspiracy when standing in groups, dubbed some monkeys by a teacher when they were chanting struggle songs in class and were physically manhandled.

The girls said school rules prohibited African hairstyles such as afros, Bantu knots, dreadlocks, and braids.

The school’s 36-page Code of Conduct stipulated that pupils could wear braids, cornrows, or dreadlocks, only if they are a maximum of 10mm in diameter.

The new rule also mandated pupils brush their hair and neatly tie it back if long enough. It, on the other hand, banned patterned cornrows and decoration of hair with beads.