The South African Democratic Teachers Union in the Free State condemns in strongest possible terms the portrayal of the old South African flag in one of the classrooms at Wilgehof Primary School in Bloemfontein. It is our contention that the attitude of the teacher and the entire management is despicable and deserves to be treated contemptuously.
The media has exposed racism that SADTU has been complaining about at this school for several years.
The conduct of this educator and the school is not just undermining the principles of a democratic and non-racial South Africa, but is a clear disregard of the dignity of the black people where they are associated with baboons.
It is unfortunate that these disgusting practices are still rooted in the minds of some of the individuals who are still trapped in the past era of apartheid and are at pain to accept the rule of the people by the majority vote. It is almost twenty years since the defeat of the racist apartheid regime but it is an unfortunate situation that we still find some remnants of that regime perpetuating such barbaric past practices especially at institutions of learning where young minds are being prepared for the future.
As SADTU we take serious offense when pondering at the naked undermining of our democracy by a school which is supposed to engender the true spirit of patriotism. We have on numerous attempts called for the full investigation on allegations of racism at this school but the department of education has always opted for defensive tactics claiming that the concerns and complaints raised by our members are baseless and unfounded.
Now that the department has once more made a commitment to investigate the matter, we will put every ounce of our energy to monitor closely the situation and ensure that this matter is never swept under the carpet without the culprits being brought to book.
We further call the department of education to investigate acts of racism beyond the issue of Wilgehof Primary as these practices are still rife in most of these schools in the province. We make a call to progressive parents in this school and others similar practices that they should reconsider sending their children to these schools seeing that they want to entrench racist practices in the minds of our beloved children. This practice further prove us right when we told the DA that the legacy of apartheid runs deep and cannot be uprooted in twenty years of the new dispensation. We shall not rest on our laurels but we shall strive in uprooting such elements in this noble profession. We lastly put a challenge to our counterparts in CTU-ATU, that if this is their member we would be glad if they could distance themselves from this practice and further take disciplinary measures against the culprit. SADTU shall not rest until we see the back of teachers like this one in Wilgehof primary.
ISSUED BY: PROVINCIAL SECRETARIAT