JOHANNESBURG, July 30 – The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Sunday rejected the resignation of a St John’s College teacher found guilty at a disciplinary hearing of making racist comments, saying he should have been fired instead.
“Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi must urgently review his decision to accept St John’s College’s decision to assent to the teacher’s resignation as it technically shields the perpetrator and lets him off the hook,” Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.
“The distinction between a dismissal and a resignation is crucial, as the latter suggests that the school has abdicated its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and South African Council of Educators (SACE) teachers’ code of conduct,” he said.
Mahlangu called on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the SACE to investigate the sanction and “arrive at a determination whether the teacher was not given the right of passage that leaves the option for him to join another education institution as an unrepentant racist teacher because his wrongdoing is covered by the resignation”.
“If this is deemed to be the case, then authorities must withdraw subsidies to the school for condoning racism.”
Private schools were increasingly perceived as “bastions of racism for their demonstrated failure to deal decisively with it every time it rears its ugly head”, Mahlangu said.
“The register of racist offenders we had proposed earlier would ensure that no one employs him as a teacher and that there is no ambiguity regarding how his transgression is viewed,” he said.
Non-racialism was not choice but a constitutional value that should be upheld by all institutions that purported to support the vision of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic society underpinned by reconciliation, nation-building, and social cohesion.
“The resurgence of racism must be stamped out and perpetrators know that tolerance to their practices undermine the cornerstone of our freedom and democracy,” Mahlangu said.
– African News Agency (ANA)