9-year-old Nina Nortier, accompanied by her mother, writes a message of support on a placard outside her school where parents were picketing. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
9-year-old Nina Nortier, accompanied by her mother, writes a message of support on a placard outside her school where parents were picketing. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Calls to investigate alleged racism at German International School in Cape Town

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jun 17, 2021

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Cape Town - Parents and pupils at German International School in Cape Town have been protesting outside the institution in a bid to get the principal to address them.

The protest comes after a teacher allegedly told pupils that "black children do not have role models because their fathers are in jail and their mothers are prostitutes".

According to a statement by the German International School alumni and allies, the current racist occurrence at the institution by a Grade 11 teacher did not come as a surprise.

They said it was common knowledge that to attend and survive at the school was to face constant discrimination and anti-blackness under the guise of a ‘’good’’ European education.

"It is not easy being vocal when you know your voices will be crushed, but your bravery and courage to resist is powerful," they said.

The alumni said that until the demands of the students were met, they would continue to amplify the management’s inadequacies and share their stories of discrimination during their school careers.

The Cape Argus approached the school on Tuesday, but it had not responded by the time of publication.

SA Democratic Teachers Union provincial chairperson Jonovan Rustin said the union was deeply disturbed by the allegations. He called for an investigation to be launched at the school.

"The SA Human Rights Commission should also be involved in the investigation," he said.

Congress of South African Students (Cosas) acting provincial secretary Mphumzi Giwu said they remained resolute in the fight against racial discrimination in schools, regardless of whether it was from white to white or white to African. He said a lot needed to be done to change the mindset of all, “and take away all the lessons of the apartheid regime of class classification”.

"We call on the school to investigate the matter immediately, and call for calm at the school as many pupils are dealing with anxiety and stress due to Covid-19," said Giwu.

Education activist Hendrick Makaneta called on the portfolio committee on basic education to investigate the alleged racism at the school and put in place a programme of action aimed at uprooting all forms of racism there.

Makaneta said it should be clear that pupils were unable to breathe as a result of the toxic environment that affected their daily lives.

He said the school management should take responsibility for the pain learners were subjected to.

"It cannot be correct that in this day and age we still experience such barbaric acts of racism that undermine our Constitution," said Makaneta.

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Cape Argus

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