The Western Cape Education Department has appealed to pupils and teachers at Sans Souci Girls’ High School to give them time to investigate claims of racism, after they’ve received a memorandum of demands from pupils.
About 300 learners on Monday night handed over the eight-page memorandum to Education MEC Debbie Schafer at their larney school in Newlands, demanding that the current principal be fired and replaced with a black palie.
They also want action to be taken against several teachers, whom they name in the document, for their alleged racist remarks.
Ms E. Swart – Placing a student in detention for use of the word “Amandla”.
Ms C. Van Heerden – For enforcing the instructions of Charmaine Murray
Mrs C. Booysen – As “Head of Hair” sought to constantly humiliate students.
Ms B. Van Speyk – Refused to allow students to go to the bathroom resulting in humiliation on several occasions.
Mr G. Visser – Referred to black students as hyenas.
Mrs Loreth Visser – Referred to black students as baboons.
Learners started protesting last week against alleged racism, and the school’s hair policy, which bans dreadlocks, extensions, braids and afros.
The children say they are not allowed to speak black languages at school.
They demand that principal Charmaine Murray be fired “without pay or benefits”, for their merit books — which they called dompas — to be scrapped, and a ban on the exclusion of learners who are unable to pay their fees from taking part in school activities.
Spokesperson for MEC Schafer, Jessica Shelver, says the matter is being investigated as a priority.
“We appealed to the school to allow the Department to now proceed with the investigation,” she says.