Sans Souci Girls’ High School facing claims of racism, discrimination

Several pupils, past and present, have spoken out about existing language and uniform policies.


JOHANNESBURG - As some schools around the country begin reviewing their rules and codes of conduct, another school is now facing claims of racism and discrimination.

Several former and current pupils of Sans Souci Girls' High School in Cape Town have spoken out about existing language and uniform policies, saying they feel excluded.

One young woman says she and her classmates are often berated for speaking Xhosa during break time.

"I think it should be allowed for you to speak another language. A lot of the time it's not allowed and you will go to detention or you'll get a demerit because of the fact you speak a different language other than English."

Former learner Billie-Jean Stockenstroom-Demas said, "In 2007 I was in Grade 9 and I was dealing with a bit of like a bullying issue at school. The teacher sent me to the principal's office to go and explain to her what was happening and before she would speak to me or deal with the issue of me being bullied, she told me to remove my braids because 'girls like me don't wear braids.'"

The education department's Paddy Attwell says the school is making changes.

"We are very concerned about any allegation of racism and discrimination and we will investigate. Our manager visited the school this morning, which explained that they are in a process of rewriting their code of conduct and has been doing so for some time."

Eyewitness News is still awaiting comment from the school.

Earlier this week, black pupils at the Pretoria High School for Girls spoke out about rules regarding hair styles.