'We are tired' - Pretoria High School for Girls pupils

Pretoria, 29 August - Protesting pupils at Pretoria Girls High School have shared their experiences and frustrations with Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.​ eNCA's reporter Zikhona Tshona was there. Video: eNCA
29 August 2016 - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi at the troubled Pretoria High School for Girls. Lesufi visited the school on Monday after receiving a petition from pupils. Photo: Jonisayo Maromo/ANA

PRETORIA - “We are tired, we are tired”, chanted hundreds of black pupils as they emerged from classes during their break that coincided with the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s visit to Pretoria High School for Girls on Monday.



Lesufi, accompanied by officials from the national and provincial departments of basic education were at the school after the pupils wrote a petition to the MEC’s office requesting intervention over “racist” incidents, which they said were rampant at the institution.



Panyaza said he initially wanted a meeting with the learners and asked the school’s management and representatives of political parties including the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to leave.




In the meeting with pupils, who cannot be named because they are minors, they recounted several incidents when teachers told them their hair was “untidy”.

“She said my hair looks like a bird’s nest. She said my hair was untidy but I take time every morning to make up my hair. I do not see anything wrong with my hair,” said one pupil.



The schoolgirls say the institution’s rules forbid African hairstyles such as afros, bantu knots, dreadlocks and braids.

Another learner said “a teacher called me a monkey”.



The pupils claim they have been subjected to racism at the school, over the years.

Lesufi said he will have meetings with the school management and other concerned stakeholders afterwards.



Meanwhile, school parents gathered at the locked gates to voice their anger.




Soon after, protestors arrived at the school's main gates.





African News Agency

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