‘Exam stress and tension’ behind KZN teen's alleged racist rant

05 June 2017 - 17:04 By Yasantha Naidoo
The South African Human Rights Commission dealt with 505 complaints of racism - an 82% increase from the previous year.
The South African Human Rights Commission dealt with 505 complaints of racism - an 82% increase from the previous year.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Their website calls them a leader in education for young women. A stepping stone to success.

But on Monday‚ Pietermaritzburg Girls' High School's claims were seriously under threat after they were at the receiving end of outrage and disgust when a pupil's alleged racist rant went viral.

Former pupils claimed the school was "protecting and defending the girl" who was said to be upset after her name was spelt or pronounced incorrectly.

Two audio clips of the pupil‚ in which she expressed outrage using the offensive "k"word in both the clips‚ have been circulating on social media.

Some pupils at the school posted that they believed the rant was due to "exam stress and tension" as the school embarked on mid-terms examinations on Monday.

Nox Dlamini posted on Facebook: "PMB GHS we need a formal statement on this platform. This is very worrying to say the least for us alumni and the lack of addressing this issue to us here‚ as the primary medium of connection to our alma mater‚ is leaving me quite unsettled. The silence is deafening. "

Another alumni‚ Sinothele Mbokhazi said: "The manner in which this racism at Pietermaritzburg Girls' High School is being dealt with doesn't surprise me in the least bit.

“As black students we have to accept nicknames given to us by white teachers and peers because our names are ‘too difficult to pronounce’‚ get told to not speak in our mother tongue as we choose to attend an English speaking school. When we wear our hair naturally we're told our Afros are ‘unruly’ and Hair Committees are established to regulate black hairstyles.

"Yet when a white student calls her peers ‘k*****s" merely because of a mispelt name‚ the staff defends her actions by reducing it down to ‘exam stress and confusion’. She's protected by the staff and the girls that take a stand against the racism by exposing her‚ are dealt with more severely than the racist.

“Pietermaritzburg Girls' High‚ your alumni are watching. You can't possibly expect our support in the school‚ as black educated women‚ when you condone such injustices on our girls." In response to the recent postings on social media‚ the governing body of the school said it would like to make it clear that the school had zero tolerance of racism of any kind.

"We explicitly promote human dignity and quality. In liaison with the KZN department of education‚ we are taking urgent action to address the matter."

-TMG Digital/TimesLIVE