Are school hostels a breeding ground for racism and abuse?

Safiyia Stanfley, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:

The Democratic Alliance will be submitting written questions to the MEC for Education to establish what steps the Department has taken to address a culture of violent and illegal assault of new school learners in Northern Cape hostels.

This comes after four accused school learners from Jan Kempdorp appeared in the Magistrate Court today on charges of rape and assault for an act of ‘initiation’ last week, that included tying a younger learner up, hurling racial abuse at him, and raping him.

Assault and abuse can never be justified or swept under the carpet in the name of ‘initiation’. This case is not initiation. This is rape.

The incident calls into question the supervision at the hostel. Where were the supervisors and the teachers who are supposed to ensure order at hostels?

The incident at Jan Kempdorp raises the question of initiation rituals at other schools in the province, where victims are unable to speak out.

The MEC must take action. This racism and violence has no place in the province, least of all at a school where learners should be safe.

Every child deserves to go to school and be safe from discrimination, racism and violence.

The DA will continue to press the MEC to implement steps to urgently change this culture.