Left, Nare Mphela pic mamba online
For two years, she was harassed, humiliated and exposed to incessant discrimination by school authorities. This ill-treatment led to her performing badly and consequently failing her final Matric examinations. Her only offence, being a transwoman.
Such was the plight of Nare Mphela at a Limpopo school where the school Principal exposed her to transphobic violence, using hurtful and harmful speech.
However, with the help of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), in 2014, Nare had managed to file a court case against the school principal and the Limpopo Department of Education.
Now, three years later, in a historic judgement, the country’s Seshego Equality Court has ruled against both the Limpopo Department of Education and the former high school Principal.
“It is our hope that this case, despite having taken three years to yield results, will set a precedent across the country and bring about a push to educate our educators on sensitivity regarding gender diversity.” read a statement from the Johannesburg-based LGBT documentation and media organisation, IRANTI.
According to Mambaonline SAHRC had expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the matter although it took 3 years. SAHRC Manager Victor Mavhidula said they were requesting the Equality court to make the Education department compensate Mphela R60,000 for suffering and for the violation of her dignity. SAHRC also requested that the principal undergoes sensitisation training and that the department is ordered to provide similar training to its employees, including all school principals in the province.
“This judgement will also be used as a tool to educate other people, including members of the education department, to make sure that every learner is protected in their school,” said Mavhidula.
“Our LGBTI community has been suffering for a long time in terms of harassment and victimisation for what they are,” added SAHRC Commissioner, Advocate Bokankatla Malatji.
Mambaonline further reported that LGBTI school learners continue to be victims of discrimination across South Africa. See also 38 school girls were this week humiliated and outed