Elana Barkhuizen faced the media for the first time since the Schweizer-Reneke segregation controversy hit the headlines, and she’s got her fightback planned.
Elana Barkhuizen, the teacher at the centre of the Schweizer-Reneke racial controversy, has spoken to the media for the first time since she was blamed for segregating Grade R learners by the colour of their skin.
She was represented by Afrikaner trade union Solidariteit (Solidarity), who have come out fighting for their client. They state that Barhuizen wasn’t the teacher of that class, and the children’s seating plan had nothing to do with race – a factor which they’ve promised to take legal action against.
Dirk Hermann, a representative for Solidarity, told the media that politicians must be held to account for forcing trauma upon the school teacher. He was particularly miffed with DA Youth League Leader Luyolo Mphithi, who turned up to the school last Thursday after a photo of the class went viral.
Solidarity blast politicians for “ruining” teacher’s life
“Solidarity will file court papers and we want Barkhuizen’s suspension lifted. The SA Human Rights Commission will be also be asked to investigate North West Education MEC Sello Lehari, and actions taken by other political parties. In particular, Mmusi Maimane must discipline DA Youth League leader Luyolo Mphithi”
“Barkuizen is not employed by the state, she’s appointed by schools governing body. She is only responsible for taking the photo. That isn’t her class. So whatever your opinion, the wrong employee has now been suspended. An outstanding teaching career has been ruined overnight.”
“When she took picture, she didn’t see race. That’s not how she sees children. For that stance, she has now been vilified. We’ve got her a top legal team and will leave no stone unturned to hold high-profile political officials to account.” Dirk Hermann, Solidarity
Elana Barkhuizen: Schweizer-Reneke teacher makes her statement
After Hermann had done lambasting those who’d turned the Schweizer-Reneke story into a “populist movement”, he introduced the teacher to the media. Barkhuizen was tearful throughout her address, revealing that her world has “fell apart” in the last week.
She finished her emotional speech by vowing to clear her name, insisting that was she was in no way racist at all. Here’s what she had to say on Tuesday afternoon:
“Last week, my world changed. A photograph I took of happy, smiling children was used by opportunists, against my children, me and my school. Unsure Grade R learners were mercilessly exploited on their first day. We had traumatised children crying, looking for support from me when my world was falling apart.”
“I was forced to stand and watch as I was judged from a stage. I’ve endured insults and been told I’d never teach again. My good name has been dragged through the mud, and people have been kicking me while I’ve been down. I will clear my name, I will take on these people and I will win.” Elana Barkhuizen
This news release does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SA-news.
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