Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he is hopeful that issues of transformation at Cornwall Hill College in Irene, Pretoria, will be resolved soon. This follows a protest on Monday morning by black learners and parents at the school over allegations of racism. The protesters want the school board and staff complement to be transformed as well as the hair policy of the school.

A pupil at the prestigious Cornwall Hill College in Pretoria wept on Monday when she spoke about how she was in grade 4 when she had her first negative experience at the school. “I was happily on my way to break when a teacher stopped me. She had this big frown that encompassed her whole face and swallowed me whole. She looked me dead in the eyes and said: ‘Your hair is unpresentable. It is messy and it is not the Cornwall way,’” said Singo Ravele.

Ravele was speaking at the school on Monday when Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited to hear the grievances of parents and pupils who said racism was blatant at the school. 

In a letter posted on Cornwall Hill College’s Twitter account, Principal Leon Kunneke insisted that there are relevant policies and procedures in place, to address the parents’ concerns at the school. He said that Cornwall Hill College’s Diversity and Transformation Committee, which was established in 2020, has held a number of meetings and the board of directors have unequivocally committed to transformation.

The school is also accused of ignoring complaints that parents and learners had submitted in a memorandum early in 2020.Lesufi who visited the school says he hopes to resolve the challenges at the school just like he did with others.“I must say, from the history I’ve had with Curro, these things [transformation] are possible. I mean Curro now I rank it amongst those that have gone beyond the problems of racism or lack of transformation.” explains Lesufi.

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