Lesufi wants St John's College to reverse decision on racist teacher

The high school teacher was found to have victimised pupils based on their race following a hearing which started in February.

FILE: Gauteng Eduction MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education Mec Panyaza Lesufi has rejected the findings against a St John's College teacher who has been allowed to continue teaching at the school despite being found guilty of racism.

The high school teacher was found to have victimised pupils based on their race following a hearing which started in February.

According to the school, the geography teacher was issued a final written warning and has resigned from senior positions he held at the institution.

The school says it's also taken a decision to reduce his salary and benefits.

Lesufi says he's disappointed by the school's handling of the case.

“I’ve since that instructed the HOD to notify the school that we are not happy, as the department. And that we are requesting an urgent meeting with them tomorrow morning with an intention of reversing their decision and also ensuring that that teacher is suspended.”

RECONCILIATION

Despite calls from St John's old boys and parents to fire the teacher, the school says it’s hopeful that keeping the staff member on board will start the process of reconciliation.

St John's says it welcomes the ruling of an independent investigation, which found the teacher guilty of racism and bigotry.

It’s understood in one incident, he told black boys that they were doing well academically only because they sat next to white boys.

Headmaster Paul Edey says he has shown remorse throughout the process.

“In the spirit of restitution, we decided that it was best that we keep the member of staff. He was committed to going forward and to making a difference and to engaging with the pupils.”

However, a parent at St John's says she worries how black children will value themselves.

“If our aspiration as black parents, in particular, is to grow confident black people, what is happening at St John’s is not conducive to that outcome.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Lesufi dissolved the governing body of Klipspruit West Secondary following disruptions to teaching and learning over the appointment of a black principal.