NEWS
28/07/2017 13:31 SAST | Updated 28/07/2017 14:00 SAST

Keith Arlow Resigns From St John's College With Immediate Effect

"We've just received a report from St John C that the teacher has left the employment of the school with immediate effect."

Facebook/Keith Arlow

Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi says Keith Arlow, currently embroiled in a racism crisis at St John's College, has resigned with immediate effect.

Lesufi visited the prestigious school on Friday morning after news broke that Arlow was found guilty of misconduct in an internal hearing for a racist campaign against South African black, Indian and Greek students, as well as foreign students.

He was given a final written warning and retained by the school. Parents have told HuffPost SA that he should have been dismissed.

"I gave them the deadline of 1 o'clock today to respond to the three issues I have raised," said Lesufi.

"I have also indicated that if they don't arrive at a decision that will satisfy me, including withdrawing the public comments they have issued, we will have to go our different ways and we will deal with it in a legal way."

Lesufi added: "Nothing that will keep the teacher here will satisfy me. There can't be someone who has been found guilty of racism roaming around in the school."

On Friday Lesufi also said in a statement on Thursday that "nothing below expulsion will be acceptable".

Lesufi expressed his "disappointment" and "irritation" about the manner in which Keith Arlow, a geography teacher at St John's College, was found guilty of misconduct in an internal hearing about a racist campaign against South African black, Indian and Greek students, as well as foreign students. He has been given a final written warning but retained by the school.

"You don't respond to such a serious matter in [the] manner the school responded," he said.

Lesufi was referring to the fact that the school sent a public statement to the department instead of detailing how the matter unfolded.

"I felt like I was seriously undermined and then I notified the school that I would be meeting with them this morning [Friday]," he said.

"People want to justify racism, romanticise racism and sweep it under the carpet," he added. He was referring to the fact that the school wanted to handle the issue internally and through restorative justice.

Lesufi said the school has to fire Arlow because it would be the most suitable punishment for his offence. The MEC also said that Arlow should be reported to the South African Council of Educators.

The school initially wanted to be given 48 hours to respond to the department but, Lesufi said, due to the urgency of the matter he refused.

The teacher was found guilty of three charges; contravening the South African Council of Educator's (SACE) Code of Conduct, making racist and derogatory statements and for bringing the school into disrepute.

"All schools, whether they are public or private, cannot have codes of conduct that contravene the Constitution of South Africa. We will deal with racism decisively and not give Racists space to breath because non-racialism is non-negotiable," said Lesufi in a statement.