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Solidarity: Suspended Schweizer Reneke teacher being used as scapegoat

Elana Barkhuizen was suspended last week after her photo went viral showing black and white pupils seated at separate tables in a grade R classroom.

Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher Elana Barkhuizen.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Trade union Solidarity says the teacher who took the photograph showing racial segregation at Laerskool Schweizer Reneke is being used as a scapegoat.

Elana Barkhuizen was suspended last week after her photo went viral showing black and white pupils seated at separate tables in a grade R classroom.

No action has yet been taken against her colleague who was in charge of that class.

Barkhuizen and Solidarity held a briefing in Centurion on Tuesday afternoon, where the trade union announced it will be challenging her sanction in court.

Solidarity's Dirk Hermann says the trade union decided to go the legal route because it believes the wrong teacher was suspended without any proper procedures being followed.

“When you simply don’t care about those laws and legal issues, it’s only about populism. Then it happens that you suspend the wrong teacher.”

Hermann says it's clear the investigations into the claims of racism at the school are one-sided.

“I think if they listen to the other side, the chances are that they would have not suspended the wrong teacher.”

Meanwhile, Barkhuizen has spoken out for the first time saying despite being labelled a racist, she's a good teacher and doesn't care about anything other than the well-being of her pupils.

WATCH: Solidarity to represent Schweizer Reneke teacher

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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