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Durban - A Westville Girls’ High School teacher, accused of racism, has resigned before disciplinary proceedings could get underway.

The school’s governing body has closed the case after the teacher’s resignation.

The teacher was reported to the governing body, in August 2019, after allegedly telling pupils that white people are “genetically smarter” than people of colour.

Steven Tait, chairperson of the governing body, told the Daily News it launched an investigation and the teacher was suspended until August 12, pending a disciplinary hearing.

“The teacher was employed by the governing body. We received an unexpected resignation letter last week, before the disciplinary hearing that was scheduled for Monday, August 12. As she was on contract with us, we accepted it and we closed the case on our side. We cannot comment on anything regarding the teacher and the racism incident, as she is no longer linked with us,” he said.

Tait said learning environments should prioritise pupils and should be protected from such incidents.

The chairperson of the South Durban region of the KZN Parents Association, Vee Gani, said if the case was closed, the teacher “got away with murder”.

“There is no place for racism in South Africa. I can understand if the department of education cannot take this further, but this is bigger than a little disciplinary hearing. What this teacher did was against the Constitution of South Africa,” said Gani.

He said this was a human rights issue and the affected pupils could take the matter further.

“People are trying their best to make South Africa a racism-free country, and then there is a teacher that makes racist comments in a learning environment, to the next generation of this country - it is unacceptable,” said Gani

Education Department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said racism is unacceptable and legal action should be taken against teachers who make racist statements.

Daily News