Safiyia Stanfley, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:
The Democratic Alliance notes the appearance in court tomorrow of the four learners from the Hoër Landbouskool in Jan Kempdorp accused of raping a younger, black student.
The DA condemns this barbaric attack. The law must now run its course.
But the Education Department cannot take a back-seat while the court handles the criminal matter.
A criminal act occurred on school premises, due to a culture of discrimination and violence, and the department has a responsibility to prevent this. It is especially worrying that this attack happened at a school hostel where learners should feel safe under proper supervision.
The DA has demanded that the Education Department act urgently, and that disciplinary action be investigated against staff who may have neglected their duties. To date, we have received no response to our repeated requests for feedback. The premier was also silent on this matter in her SOPA two weeks ago.
The DA has also demanded that schools tackle discrimination and violence through active interventions from the Education Department, that will change the culture in our schools.
Trying to sweep this incident under the carpet will not prevent similar attacks from occurring again. It is time that the Education Department comes out of the shadows and acknowledges that there is a lot of work to do to make our schools safe, healthy and equal places of learning.