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Schweizer-Reneke school suspends teacher over segregated seating

The governing body says that it does not condone any distinction based on race and welcomes pupils from all backgrounds.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The teacher in charge of a class where black and white children were apparently separated has been suspended with immediate effect.

North West Education MEC Sello Lehare made the announcement a short while ago after meeting with the management at Laersool Schweizer-Reneke.

A picture, which has since gone viral, shows a group of white pupils at the school sitting together while their four black classmates sit at a small table near the door.

The school says that the photograph is not a reflection of the true character of the school.

In a statement, the Schweizer-Reneke school says that the photo is a reflection of a single moment in a grade R classroom.

The governing body says that it does not condone any distinction based on race and welcomes pupils from all backgrounds.

The school also says that it will make sure that the necessary resources are available and that staff members have access to information and training.

The statement by the school does not, however, give a reason why the children were seated the way they were.

LISTEN: Why are all the white kids sitting together?

MEC Lehare's spokesperson Freddy Sepeng says the investigation serves as a lesson for other schools which may be racist.

“If there is racism in any of our schools, that should be attended to as quickly as possible. That is why the MEC attended to the matter as quickly as possible. He will be looking into the matter of the principal also.”

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters in the province has been protesting at the school.

Provincial spokesperson Jerry Matebesi says this incident is an example of "naked racism".

“We want the principal of the school to account. We want the SGB (school governing body) of the school to also account, including the MEC, Mr Sello Lehare, to account because education falls under him.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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