‘Racist’ monkey gestures during Paarl v Rondebosch derbies in the spotlight

Paarl Boys’ High Schools. Picture: Supplied

Paarl Boys’ High Schools. Picture: Supplied

Published May 31, 2024


Cape Town - The sporting relationship between Rondebosch and Paarl Boys’ High schools is in jeopardy after alleged incidents of racism.

The two schools have been the talk of the town this week following two alleged incidents of racial abuse that took place during derby matches at the Paarl school last weekend.

Monkey noises and gestures were reportedly aimed towards Rondebosch hockey players last Friday, while a black rugby player is believed to have been the target of monkey gestures the next day.

In a letter addressed to parents on Monday, Shaun Simpson, the headmaster of Rondebosch Boys, conveyed that the school will need to carefully reassess its sporting affiliations with Paarl Boys.

The letter detailed the cancellation of a hockey match due to physical confrontations.

“Once we have full reports and a clear understanding, the following course of action is most probable.

“We will write to both Western Province Hockey and Rugby calling for an investigation and a strong statement about racism in sport, both on the field of play and from supporters,” the letter reads.

Rondebosch Boys’ High School. Pic: Supplied

According to Paarl Boys, racism has never been accepted at the school.

The governing body and school administration said in a statement that they would thoroughly look into the accusations.

“Therefore, certain allegations made regarding events supposedly transpiring during the past weekend’s sports against Rondebosch High School, are approached and investigated with due seriousness,” the statement said.

“The school will, after the investigation has been completed, take appropriate steps if needed.”

The school said that it has achieved success in embracing diversity.

“Two of the three official traditions of Paarl Boys’ High clearly states that each and every learner, parent, old boy and supporter will abide by ‘good sportsmanship’ and ‘good conduct’.”

The matter has been referred to the relevant sports associations for investigation, according to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

Spokesperson of the department Bronagh Hammond said: “The WCED condemns any form of racism or prejudice. We await, however, the outcome of the investigations before making any conclusions on the matter.”

Both WP Rugby and Hockey were contacted by the but had not responded by the time of publication.

SA Human Rights Commissioner in the Western Cape, Chris Nissen, called for a thorough investigation.

“If this is true we will definitely investigate it. We don’t want a cultural change, we want a change of mindset that everyone is equal,” Nissen said.

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Cape Argus