South Africa: Black Girls Protest Discriminatory Hair Policies

Girl with braids. (Photo:

Girl with braids.
(Photo: is reporting black girls in Pretoria, South Africa are protesting rules about hair styles allowed at school, which they say ban natural hairstyles worn by black students. The article states:

“Tears flowed as black Pretoria High School for Girls pupils on Monday told of alleged racism and abuse suffered at the hands of white teachers.

‘I have a natural afro, but a teacher told me I need to comb my hair because it looks like a birds nest,’ one girl told Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who visited the school on Monday morning.

At the centre of the protests is the section of the school’s code of conduct relating to hairstyles, which black girls claim discriminates against them.

The girl told Lesufi she was given a brush and told to neaten her hair. She was told to look at herself in a mirror.

More than five girls expressed their dissatisfaction with the treatment received over their hair.”

In this article Lesufi promised to get to the root of the hair controversy. In a separate and different article on, News24wire reported two Soweto high school principals sided with Pretoria High School for Girls in the debate about black girls’ hair, saying pupils need to abide by a schools’ code of conduct. The article states:

“Meadowlands High School’s Ntuli Hlayisani said he did not find any fault with the Pretoria school’s stance, unless parents were not consulted.

‘Rights are rights and we need to respect them; they are in the Constitution. But if you take your child to school and they know the rules of the school and halfway through their school years, they now find fault with the school. I am not sure if this is right,’ Hlayisani told News24.

Another Soweto principal, who wished to remain anonymous, said no braids or dreadlocks were allowed at her high school.”

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