Black First Land First (BLF) has released a statement condemning the recent slapping of a student at Sans Souci Girls’ High School in Cape Town, which came to light after a video of the incident went viral on social media, describing it as the “violent assault of a young black girl by a racist white teacher at Sans Souci Girls School”.
The Citizen reported earlier in the week that the the student and teacher had both been suspended. BLF considers the suspension of the student an “outrageous travesty” which “proves that the school is extremely complicit in the gross racism, dehumanisation and violence inflicted on this young girl who is now being denied an education.”
“In the video that was shared with BLF, the incompetent racist bigot stands over the child and verbally assaults her, then goes further to dehumanize her by violently slapping her. This racist white woman in no way deserves to be called a teacher,” the statement continues.
The party is also outraged at the teacher, who they describe as a “racist settler”, for “screaming at the pupil, ‘you won’t speak that language here’, alluding to the African language, IsiXhosa. This attempt to erase this black child’s cultural identity is a gross human right violation,” the party claims.
They also said that the “subdued reaction from the students” shows that “a racist-abusive environment has been normalized at Sans Souci Girls School.
“BLF calls for the complete termination of the teacher in question, the child must immediately be returned to class and the Department of Education must hold the school accountable,” the party says.
“BLF will demand a meeting with the school to ensure that they undertake transformation and further apologise to the child and her family for the trauma she experienced,” their statement concludes.
READ MORE: #SansSouci teacher and pupil suspended
The Citizen reported that the issue seems to have divided opinion.
The EFF came out in support of the student, saying “Sans Souci girl’s high school has history of rampant racism that must be dealt with decisively”.
The party is referring to an incident in 2016, which saw hundreds of students from different schools protesting against discriminatory policies at the school and calling for its principle to step down, an event that was also referenced in the BLF release.
Many on Twitter took the pupil’s side, while others came to the teacher’s defence.
Anele Mdoda appears to have tweeted in support of the teacher, but many of her follower’s disagreed with her view.
It’s not a teachers job to teach your child manners, you teach them manners and teachers educate them. When will they grow their minds when they are too busy trying to get them to stay off their phones ? Yhu teachers are going through the most.
— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) February 6, 2019
If this is in reference to the video of a teacher slapping a child … no matter what anyone goes through there is no legitimate case for the use of violence, plain and simple that teacher ASSAULTED a minor
— Smangele (@ndimlo_sma) February 6, 2019
The Citizen reported earlier this week that a strongly worded letter, reportedly written by the students of the school, was shared on social media condemning the student who got slapped as a bully “who makes her issues everybodys issue” [sic].
— SOCIAL CONSTRUCT (@ntandomatini_) February 7, 2019
A few of the school’s pupils staged a protest in support of the teacher during Wednesday morning’s assembly.
The protesters held up a banner saying, “It’s not about race. Teacher is not racist.”