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Cape Town - Paarl Gimnasium says it condemns any form of racism, after its rugby players were accused of racial abuse during a game.
The players were accused of racially abusing players from Wynberg Boys’ High during a tense under-16 schools match in the Boland town at the weekend.
It led to some Wynberg players walking off the field, forcing the match to be abandoned.
According to sources at the game, Wynberg players were subjected to the k-word from Paarl Gim players. At one point during the game, a Paarl Gim boy allegedly told a Wynberg Boys’ player: “I will slap the coloured off your face.”
On Wednesday, Paarl Gim headmaster Eddie Bateman said the school condemned “any form of racism”.
“Racism is diametrically opposed to the value system of the school. If a learner were to be found guilty of such conduct, he/she would have to face the consequences and be punished accordingly.”
Bateman said his school was in discussion with Wynberg Boys’ about the incident and called on anyone who could assist with the investigation to submit reports.
“This includes feedback from Wynberg arising from their investigation… If the investigation reveals that action needs to be taken, this will be undertaken forthwith,” he said.
Wynberg headmaster Keith Richardson said he spoke to the team and denied that the entire team had walked off the field as was previously reported. “It wasn’t a team decision to walk off the field but some of the boys walked off the field – it wasn’t a mass walk-off.”
He said indications were that it was a “fractious match” and that there was frustration among the players.
“A retreating Paarl player appeared to say something to a Wynberg player. Several Wynberg players were seen to be taking huge exception to what had been said.”
Richardson said Wynberg players reported the racial insults to a parent. He added that the referee then called full time with a quarter of the match remaining.
Western Province Rugby Union’s manager of schools rugby, Theo Kleinhans, said the matter had to be handled with care as young players were involved.
“I contacted the school and the headmasters and the governing bodies are dealing with it… I believe that is it in very capable hands,” Kleinhans said.