Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
25 Nov 2015
5:16 pm

‘Racist’ Pretoria preschool faces closure

Rorisang Kgosana

The preschool held two separate concerts for black and white children last week.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development has given the Mini-me Academy preschool in Pretoria two weeks to compile an integration plan or the preschool will face closure.

This after allegations of racial segregation at the Equestria preschool when it held two separate concerts for black and white children last week, Rekord East reported.

Head of department Shoki Tshabalala said she was shocked to witness apparent racial segregation at the school when the department visited the school this week.

“There are two Afrikaans classes and [the] majority of the children are black, which are in separate classes. However, when it comes to outdoor activities, the children play in different playgrounds,” she said on Wednesday.

She said the school principal, Johan Badenhorst, separated the classrooms as per parents’ request.

Badenhorst has apologised, and he said it was a stupid mistake as he was trying to accommodate the Afrikaans children and their parents.

“The school was an English school, but we started accommodating Afrikaans children. I then made the decision to have two separate concerts – an English and Afrikaans one, as we did not have space for all children and their parents. It was a very foolish mistake,” he said.

The school has 165 children, 35 of which are Afrikaans. Seven of the classes are English, one Afrikaans and another for smaller children.

He said the school would take measures to integrate the children, even though the English and Afrikaans classes were on different sides of the campus.

“We will be having a meeting with the parents on Thursday to establish a committee on which we can share ideas on a way forward. A lot of parents are angry and it was an unintentional mistake. It was not right, and I understand why people accuse me of racism,” he said.

Mini-me was instructed to submit a transformation plan to integrate the children as stipulated in the constitution, she said.

“The preschool will receive a letter on Wednesday that will give them an opportunity to table a transformation plan in conjunction with parents. We do not want to dictate how it should be done – they can come up with their own legalities. If we cannot get it in the next two weeks, we will issue another request to ask why they should continue to operate,” said Tshabalala.

Badenhorst said he would meet parents on Thursday, to establish a committee.

“We want the parents to share ideas on a way forward. A lot of parents are angry and it was an unintentional mistake,” he said.

Read More: No intentional racism, says school

– Caxton News Service