[LISTEN] Parent horrified at alleged racism at NW school

North West province

North West province

According to local media, the picture was shared by the class teacher on the school's WhatsApp group. Some black parents whose children have been refused admission to Laerskool Marble Hall say only black children have been placed on the waiting list.

In 2015, a year before the incident that took place in Pretoria, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) found Curro Roodeplaat School guilty of racism after a video surfaced online of children being separated based on the colour of their skin. At 9am, they received an update from the children's teacher on how their day was going via the WhatsApp group.

Four black children sat at a small desk in a corner far from 18 white kids who occupied one big desk in the middle of a classroom at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke.

"All I saw was messages from the white parents saying "dankie, dankie" ['thank you, thank you' on the WhatsApp group] but no one was saying anything about the separation of the learners", said the fuming mother.

The viral picture that led South Africans to label Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke racist, merely captured a moment and was not a true reflection of the school ethos, the school's governing body said on Thursday.

The school, in response to this, stated that the image was taken out of context.

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A year later, Gauteng's MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, was called out to the Koetjes en Kalfjes Heritage Hill Campus, after a mother of a black child posted an image showing her then-19-month-old child displaced at another table on her own, while the rest of the white kids were seated together, enjoying cupcakes.

Lehari said a decision on the fate of the principal had not been taken.

Social media users said the picture evoked memories of the apartheid system that promoted racial segregation and oppression in South Africa.

"Rather what becomes painful is that there are black people who still insist that racism has ended and who think that blacks and whites can have peaceful relations that do not have undertones of racism".

'This is impossible so long as white people have power, what therefore is needed is to change the existing power dynamics such that black people can have dignity. White people will always see black people as inferior to them.

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