Curro exec accused of calling black teacher a ‘monkey’

Curro boss Shanette Tiquin called black teacher Nonkululeko Gwatyu a monkey. Photo Supplied

Curro boss Shanette Tiquin called black teacher Nonkululeko Gwatyu a monkey. Photo Supplied

Published Aug 7, 2023


Johannesburg - Private school Curro is in the news again; this time an executive of Curro Protea Glen, Soweto, allegedly called a black teacher a “monkey”.

On Twitter, users have shared pictures of Shanette Tiquin, who is accused of calling teacher Nonkululeko Gwatyu a “monkey”.

According to a Sunday paper, Gwatyu, 29, alleged that Tiquin called her a monkey on the school premises in June. She has lodged a formal complaint with Curro human resources head Beverley Bennett.

Those close to the executive and Gwatyu are calling for Tiquin to be fired with immediate effect.

According to reports, Gwatyu claimed that Tiquin summoned her to her office to discuss her outstanding leave application, and in the middle of the discussion, she allegedly uttered the derogatory phrase.

Curro Executive School Operations, Fergus Sampson, said: “Curro Holdings abhors racism in all its forms. We take allegations of racism seriously and view them as urgent matters requiring due process, a thorough, fair investigation and a carefully considered response to ensure the outcome is appropriate.

“Curro Holdings is dealing with an incident at Curro Academy Protea Glen involving allegations by a teacher that she was spoken to in a derogatory and discriminatory manner by a senior staff member.”

“Across all its schools, Curro Holdings reiterates that it is completely committed to unity, racial cohesion and dignity for all. We do not condone any form of discrimination, bullying, intolerance, hate speech, or derogatory language that affects human dignity. Curro Holdings has taken these allegations very seriously. An investigation is under way. However, the details surrounding this case are complex. An external mediator has been appointed to assist.”

The school said although it had arranged extra security at the school for the safety of all staff, teachers and pupils, it urgently asked for the matter to be resolved in peace and with due process of fairness, without violence, or the threat of violence of any kind.

“We are dealing with human beings and children,” Sampson said.

Twitter user Nelvilane wrote: “Shanette Tiquin, a white racist Executive Head at Curro Protea Glen, called teacher Nonkululeko Gwatyu a monkey. Shanette is a white racist whose name and face will not be revealed to the public by the South African propagandist machine (South African media) as part of the white privilege package.”

People were divided, as those who claimed to know Tiquin said she was not capable of such words, while others shared their experience with Curro.

Curro has been in the news multiple times amid alleged racism.

Kgosigadi Thatohatsi said: “I left Curro because of a white female PA. There is a culture of racism in that place; black employees are treated differently.

When I wrote a grievance, I was let go because I was still in the threemonth probation period. A family member told me to not leave and stay because of jobs.”

Another user going by the name of The Outlier defended the executive.

“I know this woman well, and I can assure you that she would never use racist language like ‘monkey’ towards anyone based on their skin colour. However, being white and associated with a private school like Curro, she may face unjust attacks from some on black Twitter,” the user said.

One of Curro’s staff members told The Star yesterday that the executive had gone too far and called on the school to fire her.

Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department could not comment on the issue before visiting the school.

“We will have to go to the school first; we can’t comment without facts,” Mabona said.

The Star

Related Topics: