Curro has zero tolerance for racism

A Curro school. Picture: Supplied

RIGHT OF REPLY: As Curro, we have zero tolerance for any form of cyber bullying, discriminatory behaviour, racism, derogatory language, or any ill-informed comments reflecting negatively on the important work we do to raise the future leaders of South Africa.

On 29 June 2020 The Citizen published and posted an article under the name of “Staff writer” and which dealt with “A video accusing Curro of racism resurfaces on Twitter. A 2015 video found its way into 2020 and people are still reacting”.

Curro was not approached by The Citizen for commentary before the publication and posting of the article. Curro acknowledges The Citizen’s apology for the oversight and duly accept same in the spirit of professional cooperation and working relationships with the media, which Curro values and aspire to at all times.

Curro also expresses its gratitude to The Citizen for extending an invitation to Curro to indeed provide the correct context to the subject matter.

Curro has a zero tolerance when it comes to any form of discrimination to an individual, whether it is against a learner, a teacher, any other staff member or any parent. Curro will always express these sentiments when confronted with any form of discrimination within its midst.

The subject video of which the said report alluded to, relates to an alleged incident of racial discrimination and/or segregation that took place at Curro Roodeplaat. The incident related to a division of classes in 2015. The division of classes was alleged to have been made according to the race of the learners due to certain classes having only had white learners in the said classes. A complaint was lodged with the Gauteng Department of Education (“GDE”). The honourable MEC for Education, Mr Panyasa Lesufi, instructed an independent law firm to conduct an in depth investigation of the alleged racial discrimination. The investigation was later expanded to cover an investigation into the possibility of racial practises at all the Curro schools within the Gauteng Province. The law firm issued a formal report to the GDE and it was found that Curro was not guilty of any racial discrimination. The segregation of the said classes was not done on any racial grounds but based on the division between Afrikaans medium classes and English medium classes. Curro then had separate Afrikaans and separate English classes at most schools. That practice has changed.

In 2018 Curro was again challenged with allegations of racial discrimination at the Curro Waterfall Castle (Pre-school). There was no investigation from the GDE, but the South African Human Rights Commission (“SAHRC”) did conduct an investigation. The report issued by the SAHRC confirmed that Curro was not guilty of any racial discrimination.

Curro has made a conscientious decision after both incidents to have a close working relationship with both the GDE (and other provincial education departments) and the SAHRC. Both entities eagerly engage with Page 2

Curro if there are any alleged racial, or other transgressions of a discriminatory nature and will always provide Curro with professional advices when and where required. Curro also endeavours to attend to any alleged incident of racial, or other, discrimination with urgency and utilises mediators, counsellors and/or transformation and diversity experts to assist if needed.

As Curro, we have zero tolerance for any form of cyber bullying, discriminatory behaviour, racism, derogatory language, or any ill-informed comments reflecting negatively on the important work we do to raise the future leaders of South Africa.

Marie Lategan is the executive for marketing and communication for Curro Holdings Limited.

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