Students Protest against Racism In Pretoria High School

South African students are protesting new rules at a Girls high school in Pretoria. School authorities in Pretoria passed new rules compelling students to straighten their hair and allowing only ponytails, dreadlocks, cornrows and braids not longer than 10mm.

All types of attachment have also been outlawed with students mandated to wear the same hair styles. The new rules have been interpreted as racist as black students say it is an attempt to repress an expression of culture.

Students at Pretoria High were also told not to speak African languages at school. Zama Ndlovu, a Pretoria High School for Girls alumni has said the school’s policies have been made to favour white people.

“The problem with the rules is that they are still written through a white gaze so our hair is supposed to conform to what our white counterparts’ hair is supposed to look like. What is defined and conceived as neat is still the same as it was before, and we used to justify it by saying to ourselves this was very soon after 1994 and the spaces had not been used to having black students.”

The South African minister has backed the peaceful protests which began today.