A teacher at Southdowns College in Centurion was immediately suspended following a Twitter post claiming she acted unlawfully when commenting on apartheid on a learner’s answer.
Anita Malan, a Grade 9 history teacher, was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday, pending a disciplinary inquiry. The investigation is about a tweet by Twitter user “Tsepo” which reads: “My friend’s daughter is a Grade 9 student at Southdowns College. She lost marks on a question about a political issue (apartheid) because the teacher disagreed with her. “
He also posted a photo of the learner’s answer paper on twitter. On a question about the reasons for poverty. The student wrote: while white children went to school in good schools a lack of quality education is the cause of poverty and that black students during apartheid schools of poor quality. Alongside the question, Malan wrote in red: “(Apartheid) was about 30 years ago. Should it still have an impact? ”
Magalan Pather, the principal of Southdowns College’s high school, confirmed to Maroela Media that the teacher was suspended with immediate effect on Wednesday because of her “inappropriate” behavior and the matter is being investigated. “. The comment is considered in a very serious light, ”he says.
Simon Riekert, Malan’s attorney, said they had already approached the CCMA because of unfair suspension. “It looks like these suspensions are becoming more common. It’s a pity, ”says Riekert.
He says his client is also unhappy about an email sent to parents and teachers, stating that Malan has already been convicted. “The email refers to Malan’s ‘inappropriate behavior’. It embarrasses her with parents and other teachers, ”says Riekert.
Dr. Dirk Hermann, chief executive of Solidarity Trade Union, condemned the school’s actions. “Action like this makes it almost impossible for ordinary good teachers to teach. They must always tread carefully in a race swamp. On the face of it, this case has nothing to do with the teacher’s racial prejudice, but everything with a race-obsessed society. “
He says the teacher was charged on social media and convicted, without involving the teacher. Elana Barkhuizen (the Schweizer-Reneke primary school teacher who was also suspended for alleged racism) has shown how dangerous it is to draw conclusions solely on social media, ”Hermann says.
He says South Africa’s history is not one-dimensional, but complex. “Children need to learn that simple answers are often incomplete. This teacher deserves a compliment, not a suspension letter. “