Panyaza Lesufi visits school to probe #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh concerns

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is visiting Pretoria Girls’ High School today following allegations of racism and intimidation against black schoolgirls.

Pupils have voiced their discontent over what they perceive to be systematic racism at the school. This came to a head when girls took to the streets to protest rules forcing them to straighten their hair using hair relaxers. 

The revolt has spread to social media and society at large as calls ring load for Lesufi to take action against the school.

Another allegation against the school is that black children are discouraged from standing in groups and speaking in a language other than English or Afrikaans for fear that they might be conspiring.

Following the protest, a petition, in solidarity with the pupils, emerged online calling on Lesufi and school staff to take action. The demands were:

  • The school’s code of conduct does not discriminate against Black and Muslim girls;
  • Disciplinary action against teachers and other staff members implementing any racist policy and/or racist actions
  • Protection for the learners who protested to ensure they will not be victimised.

Reinforcing the demands of the protesting pupils, the petition laments that “Girls attending the school have been forced to straighten their hair; are accused of conspiring when standing in groups and face other intolerable comments and actions.”

As of this morning, the petition has almost 10 000 signatures.

Lesufi says he will engage all parties and hear both sides of the story before committing to take any for of action.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Cost of funerals in South Africa a grave concern

With the cost of living rising, many families can’t afford to bury their loved ones and assistance is needed

Domestic workers the thread linking Mary Sibande and Dorothy Kay...

Dreaming Invisible Connections, a exhibition by postmodernist Mary Sibande and classical painter Dorothy Kay, highlights the domestic worker - in different ways

Will the ANC’s bones come together to bring it new...

Analysis of the the resolutions taken at the party’s policy talks show it will take good leadership and bold action to restore the ANC

Indulge in the Loading Bay’s ethical food

The restaurant, which encourages regenerative farming, is tucked away in Cape Town’s De Waterkant.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…