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Western Cape Education MEC meets with San Souci Learners and Parents

Cape Town – 2 September 2016

Western Cape Education MEC,Debbie Schafer,met with learners and parents as well as other stakeholders late this afternoon to address the concerns of parents and learners,as a result of the claims of racism and victimisation of students by the principal and other staff which arose this week.

Schafer was called to the school,after students blocked school entrances in order to prevent the principal (Charmaine Murray) from leaving,after the principal refused to receive a memorandum of grievances from a group of current and former students who have organised themselves under the banner of #thetruthweshallproclaim .

Schafer has called for an investigation into the allegations and stated that she will require a new code of conduct from the school to be approved within the next 30 days.The school will resume on Monday and the school exam timetable has been shifted by two days in order for learners who were affected by the protests to better prepare for the coming exams.There were shouts of jubilation when the MEC told the learners that they would be allowed to wear braids from Monday onwards.

The principal,Charmaine Murray,will not be at the school on Monday,after Schafer and her officials consulted and agreed that the investigation into the claims are completely investigated.A circuit manager from the department,Mrs Engelbrect,will be at the school's premises from Monday onwards to ensure that none of the learners are victimised.Counselling for the affected learners has been requested and will be provided by the department and other organisations who have come to the aid of the learners.Representatives from  UCT Law Clinic and Justice 4 All were in the meeting,to provide legal assistance and advice to the protesting learners

Amongst the claims made by learners,are allegations of racism,derogotary remarks as well as victimisation when they voice their dissatisfaction about the schools code of conduct.The learners are only allowed a bathroom break,five times per year,during lessons.The learners stated that the principal was not the only culprit in these alleged acts of racism and victimisation.Learners also claim that when they spoke in Xhosa they were accused of “conspiring”,yet learners who spoke Afrikaans were not reprimanded at the English speaking school.

By Wesley Fester

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