Pupil’s expulsion over hair in court today


Zodidi Mhlana

JOHANNESBURG- The Limpopo High court will on Tuesday morning hear a case of a grade 10 pupil who was recently expelled from school over his hair length.

A Limpopo school has been taken to court after Kamegelo Kekana, 16, was expelled from school last week Thursday because of his hair. Hoerskool Piet Potgieter school has been accused of violating the learner’s rights.

“The leaner was expelled from school on Thursday last week. The reason for the expulsion was because his hair is long, his hair is 4cm long and according to the school’s policy, only white pupils are allowed to have 4cm long hair and apparently blacks can only have 1cm. On Friday, the learner tried to go back to school, he thought that the school would allow him back. He was chased away. He was even asked to return the textbooks that he collected from the school,” Kekana’s legal representative advocate Mphafolane Jerry Koma said.

Koma said that the provincial education department failed to intervene and resolve the matter.

“He went to the provincial education department on Friday and they are moving slow. Time is moving and that’s why we took the matter to court. He is sitting at home. The court papers were filed on Friday. The learner is disturbed because other learners sent some clips of the school principal bragging about how he was expelled. He’s been talking about the learner at the assembly and other leaners have recorded all of those talks by the school principal,” Koma added.

Sam Makolo from Limpopo’s education department said that they were not aware of any pupil who had been expelled.

“No school has the power to expel a learner without the department’s knowledge. A pupil’s expulsion can only be done through the department,” Makolo said.

In recent years, several schools across South Africa have been instructed to rework their hair policies after black pupils especially girls complained that they were being victimised.

Scores of pupils took to the streets at Pretoria Girls high saying that they were being compelled to straighten their hair.