To rid SA of racists, punish them harshly
Racism continues to rear its ugly head, despite such acts having been condemned and those found guilty being punished. The racist incident at Laerskool Schweizer Reneke in North West, which came to light this week, is the latest to get the country talking.
The teacher of the Grade R class in question took a photo of the kids in her care and sent it by group mail to their parents. The picture shows the children had been segregated by race.
The picture shows that this act of racism was brazen and thought through – an act committed by someone who still appreciates apartheid 25 years after the evil ideology was officially consigned to the rubbish bin.
The reactions of the white parents and residents shows how far the country has come in tackling racism. As reported in the Sowetan on Friday, the sentiments of white parents were that, “if you [black parents] are not happy here, take your child to another school” and “there are more than 10 schools in the township. If they are not happy, let them take their children there.”
This illustrates that there are some in this country who still feel like they are solely entitled to the country’s public institutions.
The provincial education department and the SA Human Rights Commission (HRC) have started an investigation into the matter and, with luck, the teacher and the school will be made examples of to show that South Africa has no place for racism.
The HRC is right when it says that schools are platforms for teaching and learning not only of a formal curriculum, but also of fundamental value systems.
But the country must make racism uncool by giving harsher sanctions and jail time to those found guilty of such acts.
We do not need more Penny Sparrows and Vicki Mombergs in democratic South Africa.