13 November 2019
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) in Free State has noted with disappointment the racist remarks by one white teacher employed at Windburg Combined School. The teacher, whose name is known, uttered racist remarks on the WhatsApp Group of the Windburg Combined School, abbreviated "WHS Staff" after a white teacher was appointed as principal. The said teacher posted the message, ".......... is net BAIE bly dis nie die swart adjunk nie, dan het ek dadelik bedank".
These racist remarks are taking our country backwards as we have travelled a long way towards eradicating the legacy of apartheid that has divided the nation along racial lines. The teacher in question stands in front of learners who look upon her as a parent and is entrusted with a huge responsibility of promoting unity and tolerance. Following this WhatsApp post, we can no longer trust that she is able to execute her duties and responsibilities as a teacher professionally. She does not deserve to be in this noble profession.
As SADTU we remain a union that strives to unite teachers, education workers and educationists and work for a non-racial, non-sexist, just and democratic system of education. It is for this reason that having observed the process of shortlisting and interviews where the new principal was recommended for appointment, we congratulate Ms Alita Bartelman in her new appointment as head of Windburg Combined School.
We call upon the Superintendent General to suspend the teacher with immediate effect pending the outcome of the investigations. We further call upon the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate this matter and action be taken to demonstrate that such individuals who are still trapped in the apartheid era do not have space in our new South Africa. Our schools are supposed to be centres of excellence and safe havens and such barbaric acts contribute to the violence and hatred that is increasing in our schools.
Issued by Provincial Secretariat:
Mokholoane Bricks Moloi : Provincial Secretary: 076 811 2777
Kedibone Frank : Provincial Deputy Secretary: 079 886 3317