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Racism allegations at Cornwall Hill College trigger calls for transformation

01 June 2021 - 10:45 By cebelihle bhengu
Cornwall Hill College pupil Singo Ravele says she suffered racism at the hands of a teacher at the school.
Cornwall Hill College pupil Singo Ravele says she suffered racism at the hands of a teacher at the school.
Image: Supplied/GDE

Racism allegations against Cornwall Hill College have triggered wide-ranging condemnation and calls on social media for transformation.

Singo Ravele, a pupil from the prestigious private school in Irene, opened up about her first encounter with racism when a teacher told her, “Your hair is unpresentable. It is messy and it is not the Cornwall way”.

Ravele said the teacher told her she would look better if she chemically straightened her hair. 

“Looking back at the situation, I feel angry. I am angry that anyone would dare tell a child in Africa that their African hair is unacceptable. I am angry that I was stripped of my African identity that one time, in one moment and by one person,” said Ravele.

Sunday Times Daily reported that about 15 black parents held placards calling for an end to racism during the school’s annual fundraising golf day last Wednesday. The protest followed complaints raised by present and former pupils who wrote testimonials about alleged racism at the school and said their grievances had been ignored. 

Executive principal Leon Kunneke apologised last year in a letter sent to parents, and said racism was “morally wrong” and contrary to the school’s values.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi met with the school management on Monday. TimesLIVE reported that pupils picketed outside the gates while carrying placards condemning racism. 

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi commended pupils for speaking out.

“The revolution salutes each and every one of these brave and intelligent young people. Nothing makes us more proud than a youth who stands their ground and speaks truth to power, fighting for dignity and justice. I’m personally inspired. Way to go,” said Ndlozi.

Here are other reactions on social media: