Lesufi suspends Pretoria school's code of conduct

Black pupils at the school spoke about being subjected to victimisation for wearing their hair naturally.

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga joined the Education Department together with Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi in the meeting at the Pretoria Girls High School. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has suspended the code of conduct that specifically deals with hair styles at the Pretoria High School for Girls following allegations of racist practices.

Black pupils at the school have spoken out about being subjected to victimisation for wearing their hair naturally.

Black girls have accused the school of forcing them to straighten their hair because Afro styles are deemed inappropriate and untidy.

Lesufi says a new code of conduct must now be constructed by the School Governing Body (SGB).

He has instructed management at the Pretoria High School for Girls to come up with a new code of conduct.

"That there will be no learner that will be victimised purely because of their hairstyle until the School Governing Body have finalised a new code of conduct that deals specifically with this issue."

Lesufi has also launched an independent investigation into teachers accused of racial practices.

"Events of the 26 August and 27 August and all issues that learners felt that border on racism and other related matters."

The education MEC, has also banned any forms of protest at the institution while the investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, Panyaza Lesufi said he'll take legally binding action against management at Pretoria High School for Girls where pupils have described their hurt over policies against their natural hair.


Clinical scientist Nonhlanhla Khumalo said most black women's hair problems such as a receding hairline or stunted growth have been caused by using relaxers.

Academics, scientists and researchers today held a roundtable discussion around the legacies of apartheid on the image of black people.

The academics have also reflected on the lack of variety in identities in the media and on the misleading advertisements of harmful products for hair and skin.

Khumalo has reflected on the reasons why hair relaxers are still on the market, despite its harmful nature.

"Relaxers are dirt cheap to make and the profit margins are huge and black women don't seem to mind."

Dermatologist Noxolo Ncoza-Dlova said the alarming practice of skin bleaching is not a phenomenon limited to black people.

"We need to emphasise good skin care and not brightening, lightning fairer skin and even tone."

The discussion has also been about how flawed the norms of beauty in South Africa are and that phenomena such as skin bleaching have been around since apartheid.