“We view this matter in a very serious light and if indeed these allegations are true, we condemn such conduct in the strongest terms,” spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane said in a statement.
“There is absolutely no room for racism in any school.”
Eye Witness News reported on Thursday that Curro Roodeplaat Private School had been accused of assigning pupils to classes based on their race.
Almost 30 parents at the school reportedly signed a petition demanding an explanation from the school.
In the petition, parents urged the school to act in accordance with the country’s constitution, EWN reported.
Regional manager at Curro Holdings, André Pollard, denied that the school was racially segregating its pupils.
“It is not because we would like to segregate the whites, it is just because of friends. Children are able to make friends with children of their culture,” he told the broadcaster.
Parents reportedly wanted to know why some classes were made up of only black children, while the white pupils were kept together.
Pollard told the broadcaster that the number of white pupils at the school was very small, therefore the school was trying to keep them together.
Once there were 12 or more white children, they would separate them equally into the classes, he was quoted saying.
The department would send officials to the school on Friday to ascertain “what happened, how it happened, who was involved and what appropriate steps should be taken,” said Sekhonyane.