South African High School For Girls Accused Of Racism Over No-Afro Policy
Pupils at Pretoria High School for Girls have said they were forced to chemically straighten their hair and not have afros that were deemed untidy.
Over the weekend, students donning afro hairstyles and braids held a protest at the school to voice anger against the long-standing rule.
Politicians quickly weighed in on the row, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party accusing the school of seeking “to directly suppress blackness in its aesthetics and culture”.
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance party, tweeted: “My daughter has an Afro… Would she not be allowed at (Pretoria) girls?”
On Monday, Panyaza Lesufi, the minister of education department in Gauteng province, visited the government-run school for talks with senior staff and students.
“I really want to arrest the situation before it gets out of control,” Lesufi told reporters.
An online petition against the school’s alleged policy has gathered more than 10,000 signatures since it was created on Friday.
Girls at the school believe they should have the right to wear their natural hair: