Don’t send your children to St Anne's, Coconut Kelz tells black parents

03 December 2020 - 11:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Coconut Kelz has outlined her experiences at the elite KZN school.
Image: Twitter/Coconut Kelz Coconut Kelz has outlined her experiences at the elite KZN school.

Satirist Lesego “Coconut Kelz” Tlhabi has weighed in on allegations of institutionalised racism and inadequate transformation programmes at St Anne’s Diocesan College in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, urging black parents not to send their children to the school.

The elite private school was again at the centre of conversations this week after the Nelson Mandela Foundation withdrew from the transformation process it co-designed for the school, claiming it was overlooked and ignored.

Tlhabi is a former pupil of St Anne’s Diocesan College and, in a series of tweets on Wednesday, detailed her experience at the school.

“Sometimes people ask me why I’m so cynical ... why when St Anne’s posted all those 'think pieces' earlier this year on the decades of racism and how they were going to address them, I rolled my eyes because I’d heard the same thing in the years I was there from 2004 to 2006 and nothing changed,” she said.

She advised black parents not to send their children to the school and those who have children there to transfer them to another school.

"I don’t think our children should be used in the fight against racism. Keeping them there has not changed anything and I don’t think the trauma is worth it to feel like you’ve contributed to the fight against racism. We can fight that they close without putting our kids through that."

TimesLIVE reported that the Nelson Mandela Foundation's withdrawal came after a group of former pupils demanded an apology from the school and for the headmaster's resignation, citing alleged institutionalised racism.

In its defence, the school said its transformation journey was still new and continuing.

The school's board chair Kari Greene said the school accepted the foundation's withdrawal and that it remained committed to its transformation and diversity agenda with respect to admissions, appointments and, most importantly, its “conversations that expand our commitment to embracing our connection in our St Anne’s family”.

Check out Kelz's full thread below: