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MEC to lead probe into segregated seating at NW school

The school has made headlines around the country after an image was widely circulating showing black and white pupils sitting at separate tables in a grade R classroom.

An image circulating on social media which shows black and white children seated at separate tables at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke.

JOHANNESBURG - The North West Education task team says it plans to conclude its investigation into claims of racism at Schweizer-Reneke Primary School within three weeks.

The school has made headlines around the country after an image was widely circulating showing black and white pupils sitting at separate tables in a grade R classroom.

The image has prompted protests as outrage mounts over the incident.

A teacher at the school has been suspended, pending the outcome of that probe.

Provincial MEC Sello Lehare will be leading the investigation.

His spokesperson Freddy Sepeng explains: “Firstly, we have to investigate to be sure of the case. Based on that they’ll decide whether to institute disciplinary action or maybe take other action.”

Lehare visited the school to discuss allegations of racism with management on Thursday.

The MEC's office says members of the community have also raised allegations of racism at the school.

Sepeng added: “The MEC is here to chat and the investigations will also include the high school.”

At the same time, following protests, widespread condemnation and calls for action, the South African Human Rights Commission has confirmed it's investigating allegations of racism at the Schweizer-Reneke Primary School.

The commission’s Andre Gaum says: “It’s not only the Human Rights Commission that can root out racism on its own, or government for that matter. It is every South African that should really look at their commitment to this country. We need to get along with one another.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)