The accused educator who allegedly made a racial statement to learners of Westville Girls High School recently has resigned. The educator told the learners that ‘White learners are genetically smarter than people of colour ‘and was suspended pending investigations last week.
Steve Tait, school governing body chair, confirmed the teacher’s resignation. “I can confirm that the teacher handed over her resignation letter to me and therefore the disciplinary process has ended. As the school and governing body we have our own terms and ways of dealing with such incidents and since she has resigned, we no longer have a case,” said Tait.
The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has sent out a statement regarding the incident earlier this week. Lauren Silen, media liaison to the DA in the KZN Legislature said in the statement that it is critical that all such allegations are properly investigated to ensure that claims made by any party are not mere slurs and that there is merit to the accusation.
“As such, the DA strongly believes that this latest incident needs to be investigated by a Chapter 9 Institution, in this case the South African Human Rights Commission. While South Africa has come a long way since apartheid, it is worrying that even today remnants of this past injustice, which seek to divide us on the basis of race, still persist.
Regrettably, this line of debate also exists within the KZN Legislature.” said Silen.
She said, recently, the DA made suggestions to KZN’s Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu around how to ensure improved budgeting and finances within his department. “The MEC’s response was that he will not take anything from the DA because – and this was his assertion – the DA is racist. The MEC’s words imply that the DA only represents one racial group which is entirely untrue. Unfortunately this destructive mentality is what many ANC leaders in government constantly propagate from our experience. This must stop. The DA will keep an eye on the progress of investigations at Westville Girls High and we appeal to the SAHRC to get involved,” says Silen
“There can be no place in our country for anyone who thinks that one group of people is better than another, simply because of the colour of their skin,” she added.
In other reports last week, Sadtu Provincial Secretary Nomarashiya Caluza also commented on the incident saying officials are to blame for the incidents of racism and abuse reported at the former Model C schools. Caluza says department officials are reluctant to investigate allegations of racism and misconduct and this makes the situation even worse.
“I really don’t think there is anything wrong with the policies that the department has because the first one that is supposed to be guiding all of us is the constitution of the land, which is very clear. Then on top of that, there are educational policies. The only problem we have is that the officials of the Department of Education are scared of going to some of these schools. There are schools that are untouchable because the officials are afraid of going there and those schools continue to behave in a manner as if we are still in apartheid,” said Caluza.
The Department of Education has no comment as the teacher was employed by the school governing body.