Access to Justice on Monday said it appeared that authorities at Cape Town’s Sans Souci High School had reneged on an agreement about talks aimed at ending an impasse over the school’s hair policy.
GroundUp reported last week that there were days of protests “by students at the school‚ joined by parents‚ former-students and at least one staff member” over “”institutional racism including unfair policy on how black girls wear their hair”.
Access to Justice said it had on Friday sent a “senior mediator‚ Greshen Chetty to assist the girls in the dialogue that was to take place” at the school.
An “agreement was reached…that a meeting would take place tonight (Monday) at 6pm to accommodate parents and matrics who were writing exams today”‚ the organisation said.
But‚ the organisation said‚ on Sunday night “an SMS went out cancelling tonight’s meeting and advising that the students would be addressed today”.
According to a statement‚ Chetty called Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer “to place on record that this would violate the agreement and that they were not authorised to address the students without the matrics or parents there”.
“She agreed that she would halt the meeting although initially she communicated that she thought it was not problematic‚” said Access to Justice‚ but when Chetty arrived at the school‚ “the SGB was attempting to address the students in the absence of matrics‚ parents and media”.
“The MEC has now agreed to halt the address and it has been halted‚” Access to Justice said‚ adding that the original Monday night meeting will go ahead as planned.
“Today’s attempt to circumvent the agreement and split the students into grades to be addressed without matrics‚ representatives‚ parents and media is exceptionally alarming.”