Teaching and learning have been suspended at Witbank Technical High School in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga. On Monday morning, parents and community members clashed outside the school.

Some parents demanded that the school be closed due to claims of racism and discrimination:

It’s understood that the protest was sparked by a fight between a White and a Black learner last week.

It’s alleged that the White pupil used the K-word when referring to the Black learner.

Only two Black pupils were suspended.

A parent of a suspended pupil, Bahlulile Tshabalala, says: “What the school has done is unfair, my child is sitting at home while others are writing exams.”

White parents claim they were merely protecting the pupils and the school property.

Hennie Grobler says: “We came here to protect the children Black or White and the school that is not burnt.”

One of the pupils agrees that racism is rife at the school.

“Teachers and White children are always calling Black children racism names and slur.”

Calm restored at eMalahleni Technical High School following clashes:

Mpumalanga Education MEC, Bonakele Majuba, says the department of education is investigating.

“We have decided to suspend all for a week, and we will be investigating the matter and the two will be given a chance to write the exam,” adds Majuba.

Apparently, the school governing body and teachers are mainly White. The department says that too must be addressed.