WATCH | Teacher asks if black pupils want to stay 'idiots'

22 January 2018 - 16:17
By Kgaugelo Masweneng

A video shared on social media of a white teacher telling black pupils that they could remain “idiots” has stirred up a bitter controversy over racism in the classroom.

Twitter user @Mpoww_D posted the video online on Sunday and accused the teacher in Randburg‚ Johannesburg‚ of being racist and discriminatory.

“24 years into Democracy and this is the kind of racist behaviour that my sister and her peers have to endure from their educator every morning at Hoerskool Die Burger‚” she tweeted.

The woman said that her younger sister came home distressed after their Grade 9 social science teacher spoke to them in a discriminatory manner.

“My sister came home on the first day of school and complained about the teacher. She was even crying and asked to be taken to a different school. I told her to take a video if he ever did it again. He said offensive things the following day. According to her‚ the commotion in the class only started after the teacher said all those things‚” she said.

In the clip‚ the teacher explains that he is trying to turn the pupils into champions. “It’s the only thing people can see‚ what people can see. That’s why you guys don’t achieve. That’s why you only invented peanut butter. And you don’t have to change‚ you can stay and idiot. You don’t have to change [pupil’s surname]‚ you can stay one.

“You can stay an absolute idiot and laugh at everything that I am trying to change‚ to make you a champion. But you don’t have to be a champion. Poverty sucks and you can stay there. You can stay there. It’s so funny to be poor‚ you understand. It’s funny to be poor‚” he says.

He went on to say he would show them videos of “idiotic black people that talk. Because that’s the video we’re watching now”.

“Sorry that I say the words idiotic and black. Because I don’t believe idiot‚ neither do I believe in blacks. Because I am playing your game‚” said the teacher.

The learners laughed off his comments‚ to which he asked: “What’s funny? What’s funny with the idiotic blacks? Remember one thing people‚ there is no such thing as an idiot. Only one that wants to be.”

Gauteng Education department spokesperson Steve Mabona was alerted about the incident. TimesLIVE awaits the department’s official response.

However‚ @Mpoww_D tweeted an update from @Thobeka_Rare‚ a media specialist for the Gauteng education department‚ on Monday which said: “The school expressed shock and has apologised. Also promised to issue a final written warning and report the educator to Labour @Lesufi. Thank you so much to everyone who assisted.”

The video sparked a debate‚ with some users claiming that the teacher was merely doing his job under the circumstances.