By Ahmed Areff, News24
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi will visit the controversial Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat, near Pretoria, on Thursday afternoon after a video emerged of pupils allegedly getting off buses on a field trip according to race.
“The video came to our attention last night. We are visiting the school today,” provincial education spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane told News24.
“The MEC has already asked district officials to engage with the school, but he will be there at 13:00 today. We are going there to verify the claims [of what the video allegedly depicts].”
The video, which was taken by someone seated behind the wheel of a car, depicts children being led off buses by race. One group of white children wait near the front of the car, while groups of other students, that appear to be black, are led separately off-screen.
The group of children in front of the car are then led off-screen in a different direction.
This is the second time the school has been under scrutiny for alleged racial segregation.
Lesufi said on May 14 that an investigation determined that the school did segregate its Grade R pupils according to race after it was pressurised by white parents.
“In January this year, we received complaints with regard to allegations of racial segregation… It was alleged that some classes were made up of only black learners and white learners were grouped together separately,” he said in a statement at the time.
The department instructed Harris Nupen Molebatse Attorneys to conduct an investigation, following a petition from parents.
“The findings of the investigation confirmed the allegations that there was indeed segregation of learners at the school. This was confirmed by Curro management and they admitted that this was as a result of pressure from certain white parents,” Lesufi said.
“The school has admitted that its practice of segregation was wrong and they have acted quickly to reallocate learners of minority racial groups throughout the three English classes in Grade R after the submission of the petition.
“In so doing, they have acted swiftly and they have also taken the steps of apologising, both to parents and publicly in the media.
“The fact that the school has apologised for what took place and corrected the problem, appears to be an acceptance that what transpired was discriminatory and problematic.”
The department at the time acknowledged that “diversity training” had taken place at the school. However, it recommended that the training be done on an annual basis for the school management and teachers.