Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has described serious tensions at Pretoria Girls' High School.
Lesufi received a petition from Pretoria Girls' High learners which raises allegations of systematic racism and intimidation at the school.
Lesufi visited the school this morning to meet with some learners.
They argue when there are more than three (black) girls in a meeting, the teachers come and dismantle this meeting— Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC
Speaking to Xolani Gwala, Lesufi says that the pupils wrote to him arguing that they are unhappy about the school's hair and language rules.
He also says that the pupils face continuous scrutiny from teachers and fellow learners about their hair, and when they are meeting together as black learners to discuss academics.
They feel they are treated more like criminals than learners— Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC
They believe the policy is really insensitive to their natural hair. They are told to straighten their hair and that their hair looks like bird's nest— Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC
There are other teachers and learners who carry a comb. When they see a black learner they would throw the comb at the learner and say go to the bathroom to comb your hair— Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC
They argue every time they speak their mother tongue, they are told they are making funny noises and are told to speak English. When learners speak Afrikaans, they are ignorant on that part— Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Education MEC