To: Headmaster and Chairman of SGB


Today we call on our own alma mater, Cambridge High, to rise to the occasion of being a truly transformed school. We call on the school and by extension, the Cambridge Family of Schools, to review the Codes of Conduct that have been the reason for many pupils to feel rejected and oppressed. We believe strongly, and we call upon the Governing Body to suspend the rules that prohibit pupils, and in particular black and Muslim students from wearing their hair the way that feels natural to them.

We urge that the school not only commits to being transformed in its rules, but to also undertake this bold move because the spirit and the ambit of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa compels it to. It compels all of us to remove all oppression in societies, all rules that will cause any citizen to have lesser claims on their rights than any other person must, by de facto, fall.

Why is this important?

We are a nation that is not at rest. Our society is dealing with the most, from the onset of the democratic dispensation, it was obvious that the advent of democracy would not miraculously transform the lives and lived experiences of our people, given the atrocious past that we come from.

Realizing the inadequacy of government policies to transform and build a more equitable society, from the Reconstruction and Development Program, to this days’ National Development Plan, and the many attempts by the state to rebuild this country, the realities call for even more actions to achieve a country which we all can be proud of.

It is in this context, with the call in 2015 by the brave students at the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Rhodes for wide and meaningful transformation in our universities to the heroic protest by the young girls of Pretoria Girls High School who claimed their right to wear their afrocentric hair.

We believe that we have been subjected to conform to eurocentrism for many-many years, not only as pupils of the school, but by extension even in life outside of the school. We call for a more inclusive Code of Conduct, one which we can all be agreeable with.

If society is to be truly inclusive and transformed, no one should be left without scrutiny.

East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL