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South Africa's top schools derby cancelled after students said racist remarks

Two of South Africa's top private schools had to stop a sports match after an alleged racial slur.

Lebogang Montjane, executive director of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa), applauded the two top schools for their decision to abandon the remaining hockey and rugby matches.

This was after an allegation that towards the end of the first XI hockey match on Friday night, a Michaelhouse player directed a racial slur at a St John’s player. Montjane said that the derby was an opportunity for the two brother Anglican schools, which both have long histories in SA, to celebrate sport and other activities.

“I commend the decision by both schools to cancel the event because we, at Isasa, like our member schools, do not tolerate racism. We need to deal with the scourge.”

A tweet by pupils and staff from St John’s College on Friday said: “After a boerewors roll breakfast on Mitchell, our boys and staff are on their way to Balgowan.

“There is so much excitement for the return of this traditional whole-school derby after a two-year Covid break.”

St John’s College is in Johannesburg and Michaelhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Stuart West, executive headmaster of St John’s College, and Antony Clark, rector of Michaelhouse, said in a joint statement that they were united in condemning “all forms of racism and discriminatory behaviour”.

The statement said that Michaelhouse, “in following its procedures, immediately implemented a precautionary suspension in respect of the boy alleged to have made the racial slur, pending a formal disciplinary hearing”.


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Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa Isasa Montjane South Africa St


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