DF Malan parents reject school name change

Dr. Anthea Cereseto of the Governing Body Foundation spoke with Annika Larsen about the decision. Courtesy of #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - The leadership of DF Malan High School in Bellville, Cape Town, has rejected a call from parents to hold a referendum over its controversial name.

In May this year, the school announced it will soon no longer be named after the apartheid prime minister in order to be more inclusive.

It added that it has already held consultations with all affected parties but disgruntled parents formed a Facebook page called ‘Proudly DF Malan’.

In a post on Wednesday, they said: “We are not going to stand back and watch our beautiful school taken down by a leftist, transformation agenda”.

Dr Anthea Cereseto of the Governing Body Foundation says there are clear guidelines from the government on what is acceptable.

"Schools were asked many years ago, and some of their own accords examined their names. The Gauteng Department of Education gave guidelines to schools, five years or so ago, which was quite useful," Cereseto said.

"They said the names cannot be derogatory when translated. We've got quite a number of schools in the past, African-named schools, where the names were not inspirational to learners. In translation, one realises these things are not good words and so they change names.

Also, they can't be offensive to any stakeholder grouping because a school has to be an inclusive space, everybody has to work together within the school. So the name of the school can't be a means of dividing the school, social cohesion really begins with children at school at a young age."


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