AfriForum condemns political parties abusing learners at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke
10 January 2019
Following the racial uproar which took place at the Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke, AfriForum condemned those political parties that immediately exploited this situation for personal benefit without even first ascertaining the real background of the photo that was placed on social media.
Various political parties – including the EFF, ANC and DA – already expressed their opinions and condemned the school without a thorough investigation to confirm the facts. The learners were not only abused for the parties’ own ideological goals, but also exposed to traumatic evacuation that placed them in an unacceptable position.
According to Alana Bailey, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, there are channels in place through which complaints about problems at schools – including racist action – can thoroughly be investigated after which the necessary action can follow. In this case, following one photo, mere conclusions and even threats of violence were made. It is clear that the political parties didn’t at all consider the wellbeing of any of the learners nor did they have any regard for their wellbeing; the political parties are rather focussing on their own political gain on the eve of the election.
Bailey referred to other photos that indicate that the learners in the class rotated and learners of different races also sat together at the desks in the class. “Despite the truth behind the story – all the learners at the school are traumatised, their education has been disrupted and the community is polarised. Any rational investigation of the facts and findings regarding the background chain of events that preceded the photos will now subsequently be overshadowed by the emotional reactions. It will leave difficult reversible damage with many, which is tragic.”
AfriForum is prepared to render trauma counselling on request to any of the learners involved.
Issued by Hesti Steenkamp, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 10 January 2019