KZN MEC of Education Mthandeni Dlungwana. File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

The Department of Education has called on its pupils in both private and public schools to fight racism following a string of racism related complaints it received recently.

Department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said in the past month they had received around 10 new complaints related to racism.

He declined to reveal further details about the incidents saying they do not want to single out particular schools or compromise the investigations that have already been launched.

“We are getting a number of reports from district directors (about racism), this thing is prevalent especially in private schools but it is also happening in some public schools,” he said.  

In a statement the department said: Twenty-four years after the advent of democracy, it appears that racial tensions continue to raise its ugly head in some of our schools.”

“We call upon educators and learners to accept that racism is an unfortunate part of our society and that attempting to eliminate it in schools is a step in the right direction,” said Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana.  

He said: “We reiterate the need for all our schools to develop robust policies and codes of conduct with all relevant legislation and the Bill of Rights in mind. It is advisable for schools to put in place mechanisms to ensure that no person is discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and more.”