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Schweizer-Reneke school suspends teacher over segregated seating

10 January 2019

The school is being accused of racism after a photograph emerged showing a group of white pupils sitting together while their four black classmates sat at a small table near the door.

However, after the photo went viral and an investigation was launched, the schools seem to have rearranged the learners into a more integrated system.

Provincial task team co-ordinator Keneetswe Mosenogi said the ANC was appalled by the seemingly racist seating arrangement at the school in a picture that is circulating in social media.

Wednesday was supposed to be a joyful occasion for parents as their children started the new school year.

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The Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher at the centre of alleged racism in a classroom has been suspended with immediate effect.

"This was meant to be an exciting day for me but it's not", said the parent.

Race relations remain tense in South Africa 25 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, with fierce racism-related controversies erupting regularly on social media and in politics.

The picture was shared on the school's WhatsApp group by the children's class teacher.

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A mother of one of the black students said she was outraged at the segregation and also the fact that not one of the white parents had mentioned it.

They said wealthy black families felt they had no choice but to send their children to white-dominated private schools, where their children would be subjected to racism. "We did not accept the explanation", he told community members, adding that a decision on the fate of the principal had not been taken.

You can take your kids to the whitest schools in the country but so long as the black majority is poor, your kids will always be reminded that they are black and therefore inferior. However, based on our understanding and the video you will see below, things have intensified outside the school, where protesters, dressed in political regalia, have picketed, chanting angrily and climbing the school's fence.

"We are not going to be held back by anything in our fight against racism", Mosenogi said.

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Schweizer-Reneke school suspends teacher over segregated seating