Racial tensions between black and coloured teachers in Eldorado Park have reached a boiling point with the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) removing all its members from schools in the township.
The largest teachers union in the country on Friday said 324 of its members will not report to the 30 schools in the area until issues of racism are addressed.
Sadtu chairperson Desmond Luvhengo said the withdrawal was done in solidarity with their member’s who have experienced the brunt of racism in the predominantly coloured township as well as to force the provincial education department to intervene.
” We are worried that there is no learning happening but we believe that by withdrawing this service they will put pressure into our issues,” he said.
Sadtu warns that if the department failed to respond to its needs, it would escalate the matter and withdraw all black students from schools in Eldorado Park.
” That means we’ll leave them there with their own kids and take our members and our kids,” said Luvhengo.
Racial tension in Eldorado Park was sparked months ago when the community protested against the appointment of a black principal at Klipspruit West Secondary School.
The matter was forwarded to the national Department of Education to handle however violence has since erupted as recently as Wednesday when police arrested a community leader after he and other community members tried to block the gates of the school.
Anthony Williams‚ a member of the Patriots of Equality‚ was shoved into a police van after he and some community members said four teachers would not be allowed into the school. The teachers have been accused of racism, abuse and corporal punishment.