- Trade union Solidarity has accused the DA youth leader of fueling racial tensions after he shared the Schweizer-Reneke photo
- The trade union called on the DA to take disciplinary action against Mpithi
- Mpithi, however, has rejected the allegations, saying they have been concocted by his political opponents
The trade union Solidarity has accused DA youth leader, Luyolo Mpithi, of fueling racial divisions after he shared the viral photo of the Schweizer-Reneke classroom.
The photo depicted Grade 1 learners who appeared to be separated by race. Mpithi posted the photo, claiming it was evidence of racism and mentioning the teacher Elena Barkhuizen by name.
Barkhuizen was suspended by the school after the incident. She has since released a press statement vowing that she will fight the suspension.
In a letter addressed to DA leader Mmusi Maimane, Dirk Hermann, CEO of Solidarity, charged Mpithi with having "sowed racial division". As evidence, Hermann cited the fact that Mpithi did not share the subsequent photos of the class that showed all of the children mixing together.
Hermann also requested that the DA take disciplinary action against Mpithi.
Mpithi responded to allegations that Barkhuizen was suspended after he shared her name on social media by claiming that the photo had been viral for hours before he retweeted it. He also claimed that the allegations against him were concocted by his political opponents in order to silence him.
"I will rather be prosecuted, attacked and written off than to continue in a society that continues to perpetuate racial divisions of any kind," Mpithi said.
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