Joint Media Statement: SA Human Rights commission meets with Cornwall Hill College
4 June 2021
03 June, 2021 (Tshwane): The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) met with Cornwall Hill College to offer its aid in the school’s transformation journey.
Following complaints of racism raised during peaceful protests on Monday, the SAHRC has initiated an investigation into the environment and pupil’s experiences at Cornwall Hill College. Representatives from the Commission thus met with the College’s leadership on Thursday to discuss the actions currently being taken at the school, and to offer its assistance on the road ahead.
Following this meeting, Cornwall Hill College and the SAHRC agreed in principle to the following measures:
- The SAHRC will be conducting further investigations into the school’s environment and culture. As part of the investigation, representatives from the SAHRC will interview pupils, staff, management, the Board of Directors and a sample of parents in order to gain further insights into the root causes of parents’ and pupils’ concerns. The SAHRC and College management will meet again to discuss the arrangements for these interviews and ensure that there is minimal disruption to the school’s day-to-day educational activities.
- Once the SAHRC has gained further qualitative data, it will make recommendations for any necessary adjustments at the school to resolve any lingering issues or grievances.
- The SAHRC will lend its assistance in reviewing the school’s policies, code of conduct for learners and procedures, also offering its recommendations for any adjustments or areas of improvement.
- As part of its advocacy intervention, the SAHRC will provide the College with access to its teaching toolkits for use within the school’s diversity programme, which will be rolled out to students over the course of the next few months.
- The SAHRC will offer mediation and negotiation services to the school and its immediate stakeholders to help facilitate the faster resolution of any issues or areas that need to be reviewed.
In response to the SAHRC’s commitments, Cornwall Hill College Executive Principal Leon Kunneke noted that the school is grateful for the participation and valuable input from both the Diversity and Transformation Committee and the SAHRC in its transformation process.
“We truly appreciate the SAHRC’s willingness to assist us in our transformation journey, as well as the ongoing guidance from the Diversity and Transformation Committee.
“We remain committed to transformation and diversity at our school, and we will continue to report back on our progress through official channels so that our immediate stakeholders will be able to see the positive progress that is being made.”
Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission, 4 June 2021