In Summary
  • The photo showed about 17 white children sitting around a large table, with four black children around a small corner table in the background.
  • Some white parents on Thursday took their children away from the school after protesters gathered outside.
  • Race relations remain tense in South Africa 25 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, with fierce racist controversies erupting regularly on social media and in politics.

JOHANNESBURG 

A South African primary school teacher was suspended on Thursday after a photograph appeared to show black children sitting separately from white children in a classroom, sparking a storm of racism accusations.

The pupils were attending their first day at the Schweizer-Reneke school in North West province when the teacher took a photograph to send to anxious parents.

It rapidly spread on social media as it showed about 17 white children sitting around a large table, with four black children around a small corner table in the background.

"From the information I got from the meeting, it seems that there are a lot of cases here of racism," provincial education minister Sello Lehari said after visiting the school.

"I will send a team to do an investigation into all schools... to deal with issues of racism in totality."

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