Pretoria Girls High protest about more than just black girls’ hair‚ says pupil’s guardian

29 August 2016 - 15:05 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
None None

A parent at Pretoria Girls High School says the issue at the school is not just about hair‚ but about “plain racism”.

Lebo Madiba Lokotwayo on Monday took to social media to give her view of how the hair issue erupted at the school.

This follows the school’s reported instruction to black pupils to straighten their hair.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he had received complaints from parents about the hair policy‚ allegations that pupils in groups of two or more were being stopped and asked questions – after an earlier protest by pupils – and was told that teachers prevented pupils from speaking African languages.

Lesufi was due to visit the school on Monday to address the controversy as more than 4500 people signed a petition calling for his intervention.


#StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh was trending on social media as people vented their anger over the isse.

Madiba-Lokotwayo‚ who is a guardian to her niece who goes to the school‚ wrote on her Facebook wall: “The issue at Pretoria High School for Girls is not just about hair. It is just plain racism.

“The girl with the uncontrollable hair gave a speech in class about employment in South Africa. She gave a comparison of the politics of employment pre- and post-apartheid‚ she highlighted the ills of apartheid and the role of trade unions.

“Her speech was interrupted; she was taken to the headmaster's office and was threatened with suspension.

“When her parents fought the suspension‚ they used the school's hair regulations against her. Her hair is uncontrollable! Her mother is black (Zulu) and her father is Indian. Doesn't that just make her proudly South African? She represents everything that is beautiful about this country. #SheIsHerHair “…I join the list of parents that say #NotInOurName#StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh‚” said Madiba-Lokotwayo.


Speaking to TMG Digital on Monday‚ Madiba-Lokotwayo said her niece would occasionally complain about the tone some teachers use when they speak to black girls.

“She’s been vocal about the way some teachers speak to black girls.

Madiba-Lokotwayo said the school has always had an issue with black girls’ hair.

“The policy says the hair must be neat and tidy. The issue is their definition of neat. The girls are at school to learn and not to be discriminated against.

“Parents would not deliberately take their children to school with untidy hair.”

– TMG Digital