A high school in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, has reportedly told seven openly lesbian teenage school girls to leave because of their sexuality.
According to the Daily Sun, four of the girls – Hloni Mokoena, Asanda Gonyela, Lwazi Maluleke and Rhulani Tibane – have come forward to make the accusation after they stopped going to school this week.
They told the newspaper that an unnamed deputy principal at the Phomolong Secondary School had called them satanic. On Monday, she allegedly told them that they are not welcome because their sexuality and gender appearance goes against her Christian beliefs.
Mokoena was quoted as saying: “We excel at school activities and have won medals, but we are not appreciated. The deputy principal insists we wear skirts and act like normal girls, but we don’t need skirts to focus on our studies.”
The parents have complained to the school’s principal Mocheke Thoka who has promised to investigate, insisting that “We don’t discriminate at this school.”
One mother said: “Our children’s rights are violated. We want them to be accepted as they are and not to be judged.” The parents have been urged to lay an official complaint by the Department of Education.
The Forum for the Empowerment of women (FEW) and Parents, Families & Friends of the South African Queer (PFSAQ) urged the department to intervene.
“We need to organise against this school and make an example with it,” said Virginia Magwaza We Njinji from PFSAQ.