South Africa News

Colleen Makhubele launches education programme to fight racism at Joburg schools

The speaker of the council, Colleen Makhubele, said she will be launching the City of Johannesburg’s (CoJ) Civic Education Programme to tackle racism, classism, and homophobia in schools and communities.

The launch is in line with the theme of the Civic Education Programme of building a world-class African citizenry.

On Monday, Makhubele visited the family of Tylin Nxumalo, a 13-year-old pupil, who was physically assaulted at Crowthorne Christian Academy in Midrand.

This comes after Nxumalo and his mother captured the hearts of many South Africans when a video of them being attacked by Andries Hendrik Booysen went viral on social media.

Booysen was charged with common assault last Friday and has been granted R2,000 bail in the Midrand Magistrate’s Court.

The visit came as a result of the city’s efforts to support and comfort victimised pupils.

During her visit, Makhubele alluded to the racial issues at the school as a reason why some learners have been home for more than three months.

The issues she was informed about were that three more learners have been at home for at least three months for not conforming to the “white” standards that the owners of Crowthorne would wish for them to look like.

Makhubele condemned the racist attack and said there was a thin line between disciplining children and chasing a learner because of the natural hair in dreadlocks.

“It is through this that we have also unravelled that this is not the first case that the school has had but is the third one to date, when Nokuthula disclosed that the school has quite a peculiar code of conduct rooted in discrimination that stipulates that should the learners not conform to a little neat bun, the repercussions are expulsion,” Makhubele said.

She said it would not be allowed and would be as if they were not making progress as a world-class African city.

“These demands for us resemble intolerance racially, ethically, as well as religiously because our country is embodied with a Constitution that ensures civilians freedom of expression in whichever form or manner that they choose to. Whether they identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as in hair and skin colour, should also not be reason enough for not tolerating one another,” she said.

Makhubele commended Tylin’s mother for her bravery in this matter after having leg surgery. “We are pleased to know that the family has substantial support in a phase such as this one,” she said.

-IOL

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