Schools need to act against racism: NW premier

Thandi Modise, premier of  North West province
Thandi Modise, premier of North West province

Schools need to take firm action against the perpetrators of racism, North West premier Thandi Modise said on Monday.

“Incidents of racism such as the one reported (at Potchefstroom Gimnasium) undermine efforts of nation building and social cohesion that seeks to unite all communities across racial, ethnic and gender lines,” she said in a statement.

Modise was responding to a report in The Star newspaper about two brothers who reportedly suffered constant harassment and racial slurs from fellow pupils at the Potchefstroom Gimnasium boarding school.

The twins, Kago and Kagiso Mangope, 14, were Grade Eight pupils at the school and were also the only blacks in the Grade Eight hostel.

Their brother Lebo told the newspaper they were constantly called “kaffir” and that two previous incidents had resulted in Kago quitting the rugby team.

A disciplinary hearing had been scheduled.

Modise said her administration would request a report from the school and would take action if necessary.

“Schools play a pivotal role in society…. Pupils coming from these institutions go on to occupy influential positions. It is therefore important that they are taught properly so that they become responsible citizens who will contribute towards building a free and fair society,” she said. – Sapa