By Bernard Chiketo
CAPE TOWN – Fraud charges against a coloured Western Cape teacher who classified himself as African on his CV have been dropped.
Glen Snyman was initially accused of fraud for failing to identify himself as ‘coloured’ in line with government classifications that also categorise the populace as ‘black’, ‘Indian’ and ‘white’.
The People Against Race Classification group founder’s charges emanated from a 2017 headteacher job application. He did not land the job.
Snyman who has been campaigning against the classifications since 2010 regards himself primarily as just a South African.
Western Cape education authorities had accused the anti-racial classification campaigner as seeking to gain unfair advantage in securing the post.
“You committed a common law offence, to wit fraud, by stating on your CV when applying for the principal post at Fezekile Secondary School that you are an African male, whereas in truth your records indicate that you are a coloured male and by doing so gain an advantage for purposes of being shortlisted,” the charge read.
Western Cape provincial education department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond confirmed the issue to local media.
The racial classifications, officials say, were devised to ensure that races that were disadvantaged under the apartheid regime do not continue to be overlooked in job placements.
Whites were considered superior with ‘coloureds’ and ‘Indians’ considered higher than blacks on the race hierarchy. Critics however claim this to be a form of reverse racism.
Provincial MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer said she only learned on Wednesday that the teacher was charged with fraud.
Schäfer said she was shocked to discover that her department was charging someone because of how they choose to classify themselves.
“One of the many evils of apartheid was the classification of people by their so-called race. This was what many people have fought to rid our country of.
“So, I am understandably shocked to discover that my department is apparently charging someone because of how they choose to classify themselves. If this is in fact the case, it is anathema to me.
And we will not tolerate victimisation of people who do not conform to an artificial and arbitrary classification of who they are deemed to be,” Schäfer said in a statement.
“I have asked for all the information regarding this case as a matter of urgency because on the face of it, it does not appear to be in line with what this administration stands for.” Telly Africa