Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher Elana Barkhuizen cries as she briefs the media on how she was suspended from the school. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

RUSTENBURG - The North West education department will oppose trade union Solidarity's urgent Labour Court application asking that the suspension of Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher Elana Barkhuizen be lifted. 

In a brief statement, Solidarity said it was informed on Friday, that North West Education MEC Sello Lehari, and the North West department of education would oppose the union’s urgent application for Elana Barkhuizen’s suspension to be lifted. 

Solidarity served papers on Lehari, the North West department of education, Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke and its governing body. 

In its application Solidarity asks the Labour Court to give a ruling as early as 24 January to the effect that Barkhuizen’s suspension is unlawful and must therefore be lifted. 

Head of Labour Law Services at Solidarity Anton van der Bijl, said Barkhuizen should never have been suspended and asked that she be reinstated with immediate effect. 

Barkhuizen was suspended after a photograph she took of a Grade R class went viral on social media. 

In the photograph black children were separated from white children. 

African News Agency (ANA)