’No Afrikaans, no promotion’: Mitchells Plain teacher protests against ’racism’
Cape Town – A Mitchells Plain teacher held a lone protest inside Littlewood Primary School where she says she was snubbed for a top job because she cannot speak Afrikaans.
Nomonde Jikajika-Balarane says she applied for the head of the department (HOD) position, but says part of the interview was conducted in Afrikaans, a language she does not speak or understand.
Jikajika-Balarane, who has been a teacher at the school for 12 years, says she is the only suitable candidate for the job as she has an honours degree and is experienced.
“I applied for the post and I was called for an interview.
“When I arrived, there was a paper with questions in Afrikaans and I asked the principal why this was so. I felt like I was being discriminated against,” she says.
“He told me that I cannot get the post as I cannot speak Afrikaans.”
The teacher from Kuils River says the panel remained silent, which to her meant that they agreed with the principal.
“I am suitable for the position and the language medium here is English, which I teach and speak fluently,” she says.
“The principal even said the department disadvantaged me by employing me at the school 12 years ago.”
Yesterday, she held a placard while standing on the school premises, which read “RACISM MUST FALL”.
“I want the post, they must give it to me. This is not the first time I have been undermined like this,” she adds.
“Since 2016, posts like these have been advertised and I was never selected for the interviews.”
Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond says they are investigating the claims.
“The WCED is following up on the allegations and are confirming it with the recruitment section,” Hammond says.