The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has confirmed it is investigating a “white glove” practice adopted by hostel dwellers at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth.
The investigation forms part of discoveries made following allegations of assault at the school’s hostel – Meriway House – after seven Grade 12 pupils were hauled before a disciplinary hearing at the beginning of the month for meting out “whacks” to Grade 8 pupils.
News24 understands that the pupils pleaded guilty and as part of their sanctions, they were given a final written warning.
Summed up, a “white glove” is given to any pupil in the hostel who is found masturbating and requires said pupil to wear the glove for a week.
Responding to queries from News24, SAHRC commissioner for basic education Andre Gaum confirmed it was investigating the case. “Yes, I can confirm that our Eastern Cape office is investigating the case, which is ongoing.”
It is also being investigated by the police’s family violence, sexual offences and child protection unit at the request of the school.
“The enquiry is currently under investigation,” according to Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg.
In an e-mail correspondence with News24, the school’s headmaster, Christian Erasmus, referred queries to the provincial education department.
Its spokesperson, Mali Mtima, said the SAHRC was indeed investigating the case.
Past pupils contacted by News24, who lived in the hostel, confirmed that the practice does indeed exist.
“There’s also a white glove award at the boarder banquet for the guy that is caught the most,” one old boy said.
Another one added that, to go with the shame and embarrassment, a rhyme, “For he’s a jolly good wanker”, was sung.