WC Education looking into allegations of racism at Sans Souci Girl High

Former learners have asked Education MEC Debbie Schafer to look into complaints dating back to 2011.

Sans Souci students protest outside of their school to highlight the alleged racist hair and language policies of the institution. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department says it will look into allegations of racism and discrimination at Sans Souci Girls High School, including those dating back several years.

Yesterday, the provincial education department met with current and former learners and their parents.

During a meeting with learners and parents, Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer reacted with shock to the allegations of racism and discrimination.

"Because nothing is intelligent unless it's in English, so basically the language policy is an exclusionary one. It's built to exclude students who majority of them are black."

Schafer shook her head in disbelief as learners told her about being denied access to the toilets during classtime because school policy dictates they can only use it up to five times a year when in class.

Former learners have asked Schafer to look into complaints dating back to 2011.

Watch: School hair policies under fire in CT

They claim two parents have taken cases to the Human Rights Commission.

Schafer says the department will look into it and report back as soon as it can.

A group of girls spearheaded a movement called 'The Truth We Will Proclaim' to protest against the school's policies.

Former learner Othandwayo Mgqoboka explained: "We were inspired by what happened at Pretoria High School for Girls, as those girls stood up against institutionalised racism and the hair policy. Past and current students spoke and realised it was happening at Sans Souci."

Some parents have also joined the protest to support of the cause.

Melita Moosa supported her daughter who matriculated at the school in 2014.

"This is not something new happening, it has been coming on for a long time. I am very proud of the youth who are standing up to say 'enough is enough'. They are being more verbal and standing up."


Meanwhile, cabinet joined others in commending pupils at the Pretoria High School for Girls for their bravery and exposing alleged racist practices and prejudice at the school.

This week, black female pupils at the institution spoke out about being subjected to victimisation for wearing their hair naturally.

The recent incidents have sparked similar complaints from several other schools around the country with some even amending their codes of conduct.

Cabinet said the recent incidents levelled against the Pretoria High School for Girls are a concern.

It has applauded the young women at the Pretoria High School for Girls saying they are activists of social change, who are needed in taking the country forward.

Education Minister Angie Motshekga has commended the manner in in which MEC Panyaza Lesufi dealt with the issues raised at the school this week.

The ministry's Troy Martins said, "MEC Lesufi has done a sterling job. He's opened the doors of communication."

Following the recent events in Pretoria, schools including Parktown Girls in Johannesburg have amended their hair policy.

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