St John’s College teacher fired over racism

28 July 2017 - 14:29 By Timeslive
Panyaza Lesufi. File photo
Panyaza Lesufi. File photo
Image: VATHISWA RUSELO

A geography teacher at St John’s College in Johannesburg who was found guilty on three serious charges‚ including racism‚ has been fired‚ according to the Gauteng education department.

This followed a visit to the school on Friday morning by Gauteng MEC for for Education Panyaza Lesufi‚ who reportedly gave the school an ultimatum until 1pm on Friday to sack the teacher.

Welcoming the decision‚ Lesufi said the educator had left the school with immediate effect.

The teacher has been allowed to continue teaching at the school despite being found to have victimised pupils based on their race. He was issued with a final written warning and had stepped down from senior positions at the college in addition to also receiving a pay cut.

In a statement on Friday afternoon‚ the Gauteng education department said that Lesufi had met earlier in the day with the school’s management team and had expressed his disappointment and unhappiness following the decision to retain the teacher‚ even after he was found guilty following a disciplinary process.

Gauteng Education Department head Edward Mosuwe‚ the school’s council chairperson‚ Dr John Patricios‚ as well as visiting Bishop‚ Reverend Dr Steve Moreo‚ were also present in the meeting. The teacher was found guilty of three charges; contravening the South African Council of Educator’s (SACE) Code of Conduct‚ making racist and derogatory statements and for bringing the school into disrepute.

“The MEC said the final written warning was unsatisfactory considering the seriousness of the charges and the guilty finding against the educator. “Subsequent to the meeting with the St John’s College management MEC Lesufi met the representatives of the Independent Schools Association of South Africa (ISASA) to discuss the issues facing the private education sector.

It was agreed that a summit would be facilitated in September 2017 to deal in detail with all issues affecting private and independent schools in particular. A date for the summit will be announced in due course‚” Lesufi’s spokesperson‚ Steve Mabona‚ said.

“All schools‚ whether they are public or private‚ cannot have codes of conduct that contravene the Constitution of South Africa. We will deal with racism decisively and not give Racists space to breath because non-racialism is non-negotiable‚” said Lesufi.

“The department takes allegations of racism very seriously and where it rears its ugly head‚ we will not hesitate to act swiftly to deal with the matter‚” he added.

- TimesLIVE

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