By Tamlyn Canham
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has condemned a teacher for forcibly combing a male pupil’s hair.
The video shows a school official using an afro comb to neaten the boy’s hair at the school gates.
Other boys appear to be waiting for their turn.
“Next,” the woman in the video can be heard saying.
Lesufi slammed the teacher’s actions.
“This is completely unacceptable. Team Education kindly verify,” he tweeted.
This is completely unacceptable . Team Education kindly verify https://t.co/h3zC8N2ubz
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) March 22, 2021
The EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also weighed in on the video. He described the incident as child abuse.
“This woman must be found and put to the book. You can’t teach kids to hate their hair… NO! Her treatment of black hair is the same as that of white racists who tell black kids to remove or hide their Afro’s!” he tweeted.
Ndlozi added that “only a child-hating society can find satisfaction in humiliation and violation of children!”
“It’s the indignity of standing at school gates, violently combing [kids’] hair! Why not write to their parents? Why not ask kids to do it themselves in a private space? In anyway, why the hell must they comb? Will it make them more teachable? Why humiliate them because of HAIR??”
Uncombed black hair is neat
He also defended pupils who chose to wear their hair in afros.
“In defence of Afro… uncombed black hair is neat, even in children! Nothing wrong with wearing your hair naturally! We are beautiful! And we don’t need your combs!”
In defence of Afro… uncombed black hair is neat, even in children! Nothing wrong with wearing your hair naturally!
We are beautiful! And we don’t need your combs! pic.twitter.com/X9P0HrfIMr
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) March 22, 2021
Mixed reaction on social media
Social media users were divided on the matter.
“I hope the poor teacher does not get in trouble for merely exercising SGB guidelines,” one man tweeted.
Another Twitter user responded to his comment: “She must. Children have rights.”
She must. Children have rights.
— ! (@MsNubianMermaid) March 22, 2021
We are not combing a damn thing. pic.twitter.com/2WTZgEegG1
— Sixo Gcilishe (@SixoGcilishe) March 23, 2021