Kindergarten photo evokes Apartheid ghosts in South Africa

Clay Curtis
January 10, 2019

Some black parents whose children have been refused admission to Laerskool Marble Hall say only black children have been placed on the waiting list.

He said the school's explanation was that black children were separated because they were new at the school and could not speak Afrikaans or English.

Reports have now surfaced that parents have removed their children at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke.

Education MEC, Sello Lehari, this will allow investigations to continue.

He added: "We are suspending her [the teacher] because we want the investigation to be fair and free".

The picture showed the 18 white learners in the classroom all occupying a single large desk in the middle of the classroom, while the four black children in the class occupied one desk in a corner at the far end of the classroom.

Racism is still deeply embedded in South Africa almost 25 years after white-minority rule ended.

The mother, who is not being named to protect the identity of her child, told TimesLIVE that her child's first day in grade R had initially started off smoothly.

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"They created a group parents and teachers group chat on WhatsApp past year".

The images caused a stir on social media with political parties weighing in on the matter.

"All I saw was messages from the white parents saying "dankie, dankie" ['thank you, thank you' on the WhatsApp group] but no one was saying anything about the separation of the learners", said the fuming mother.

Protesters gathered at the school on Thursday morning, many of whom are supporters of South Africa's opposition EFF party according to local media.

School leaders have now launched a racism probe after the picture, taken by a class teacher, emerged.

"The North West provincial government condemns any form of racism in the strongest possible terms and deeply regrets this unfortunate incident 25 years into the democratic dispensation", Ngesi said.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters in the province has been protesting at the school.

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