DA leader Mmusi Maimane has defended the party’s federal youth leader, Luyolo Mphithi’s statement following the photograph of black and white learners seated separately in a class at the Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke in North West.

DA youth leader Luyolo Mphithi

DA youth leader Luyolo Mphithi

Last week, trade union Solidarity’s CEO Dirk Hermann called on Maimane to reprimand Mphithi for allegedly defaming Elana Barkhuizen – the teacher who was suspended for taking the photographs.

Hermann accused Mphithi of revealing Barkhuizen’s identity despite threats of violent protests and implying that a single photo taken at one moment during the day was racist regardless of other photo’s showing the children interacting with each other.


The youth leader later condemned the posting of the photograph after visiting the school.

Maimane says Mphithi has been unfairly targeted for populist gain.