Racist teacher Keith Arlow has been fired from St John’s College in Johannesburg with immediate effect.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi gave the school until 1pm on Friday to fire Arlow following a private meeting with the school management earlier in the morning.
The geography teacher had been allowed to continue teaching at the school despite being found to have victimised pupils based on their race at a hearing in February.
In one of the incidents, the geography teacher reportedly told black boys that they were doing well academically only because they sat next to white boys.
He was issued with a final written warning, stepped down from senior positions he held at the school and allegedly received a pay cut.
Lesufi said he was disappointed with how the principal handled the matter, saying that it undermined the serious problem of racism.
“We were not satisfied with the outcome of the internal disciplinary process because this is a very serious matter and it was handled badly.
“I was deeply disappointed and felt undermined by people who romanticise racism and think it can be swept under the carpet,” he said.
Lesufi added that all schools, whether they were public or private, could not be above the Constitution of the country.
“We’ve given [them] a chance to redeem themselves. Non-racialism is not negotiable; it must be protected and imposed,” he said.
The MEC said that Arlow had been found guilty on three charges: bringing the school into disrepute; contravening the South African Council for Educators code of conduct; and making racist and derogatory remarks.
The school had said it hoped that by allowing Arlow to continue teaching it would start a process of reconciliation.
But Lesufi rejected the decision.
“A principal cannot decide that restorative justice is the right solution to this matter. You are not a psychologist.”