A teacher at St John’s College in Johannesburg who was found guilty of racism will leave the school with immediate effect.
The teacher is said to have told the black learners that they were only passing due to their close proximity to white learners.
The teacher was found guilty of three charges; contravening the South African Council of Educator’s (SACE) Code of Conduct, making racist and derogatory statements and for bringing the school into disrepute.
School principal Paul Adey announced on Thursday that, although the teacher was found guilty of all three counts by an “independent investigation”, including “racist utterances”, they would not fire him. Rather, the school would give the teacher a “final written warning”.
Earlier on Friday angry black parents put up placards outside demanding racial reforms and better treatment of their children.
Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi also visited the school on Friday and held a meeting with school management team in which he expressed his disappointment and unhappiness following the decision to retain the teacher, even after he was found guilty following a disciplinary process.
An infuriated Lesufi emphasised that he told the school’s officials that their decision meant that they “don’t take racism seriously”.
“I told them that in no uncertain terms!”
The visibly upset MEC added he was not “satisfied” with the “presentation of the one-page report” he was given.
“I have given them a deadline of 1pm (Friday afternoon) to” deliver a better report.
Later on Friday Lesufi said he welcomed the decision to fire the educator.
Subsequent to the meeting with the St John’s College management on Friday, Lesufi met the representatives of the Independent Schools Association of South Africa (ISASA) to discuss the issues facing the private education sector. It was agreed that a summit would be facilitated in September 2017 to deal in detail with all issues affecting private and independent schools in particular.
A date for the summit was set to be announced.
“All schools, whether they are public or private, cannot have codes of conduct that contravene the Constitution of South Africa. We will deal with racism decisively and not give racists space to breath because non-racialism is non-negotiable,” Lesufi said.