Today's Labour News

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northwestprovinceNews24 reports that the Department of Education in the North West has apologised for the unlawful suspension of a Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke teacher over false racism allegations.

In 2019, the department suspended Elana Barkhuizen after a photo she took of four black and 18 white pupils sitting at separate tables in a classroom sparked protests and allegations of racial segregation at the school. In a letter dated 22 March, Education MEC Viola Motsumi apologised to the teacher on behalf of the department and former MEC Wendy Matsemela for the unlawful suspension without detailing reasons and denying her the opportunity to state her case. "I apologise for the violation of your rights to due process and privacy. I further apologise on behalf of the department and for the former MEC's conduct of falsely accusing you of racism and for placing your life and the life of your family at risk through the public disclosure of your identity," the letter reads. Motsumi's apology was in response to an order by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), which found the department erred in its decision to suspend Barkhuizen and it violated her right to privacy, freedom of movement and human dignity. Trade union Solidarity said the apology, albeit five years later, symbolised an end to a "painful chapter in which lives were almost ruined." Deputy chief executive Anton van der Bijl commented: "An apology is too little. However, the trauma of further actions against the department would have been too much for her."

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Cebelihle Bhengu at News24
  • Lees ook, LUR vir onderwys sê jammer vir Elana Barkhuizen, by Maroela Media

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page