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Teacher who set ‘fun’ slave auction activity at Cape Town school resigns

A picture of the assignment.

  • The Cape Town teacher who set the “fun” activity to draw a poster advertising a slave auction has resigned.
  • Parklands College secondary faculty principal Sylvia Steyn said he had resigned during an online discussion on the matter. 
  • Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the teacher had set the task during one of his online classes in April, causing an uproar. 
  • He was originally meant to go for sensitivity training, but resigned.

The Cape Town teacher who set up the “fun” activity of getting his history pupils to draw a poster advertising a slave auction has resigned. 

This according to Parklands College secondary faculty principal Sylvia Steyn. 

He was supposed to have undergone sensitivity training, but in an online meeting during the school’s mid-term break, he resigned with immediate effect.

READ | School apologises after Grade 7s asked to make slave auction poster

Steyn said he felt he would be under “constant scrutiny”, so decided to leave. 

Fun assignment

The independent school apologised when a parent shared the assignment for Grade 7s on social media. 

The assignment, titled ‘Fun Activity’

Pupils were given the following instructions:

– You will create an advertisement regarding a slave trade auction that will be taking place on Friday 24 April 1835.

-You will have 30 minutes to create the advert and have it posted in the assignment link shared on Google class today.

-The person with the best advertisement will get a Cadbury slab of chocolate when we get back to school.

-This is a fun activity and it will not count for marks. Be creative and have some fun.

Midstream College in Gauteng also had a similar assignment. 

READ | Slavery assignments topics dealing with past injustices must be approached sensitively – Umalusi

Prinicipal Carel Kriek told News24 the assignment, in which Grade 7 pupils were asked to create a poster for an upcoming slave auction in 1614, was withdrawn by the school after parents raised concerns. 

Kriek said the school had launched an internal investigation into the matter.


Umalusi also launched an investigation in its capacity as the body that accredits, certifies and verifies certain education institutions.

Kriek previously told News24 the school had apologised to those who were offended.

It emerged the school had reintroduced the topic to be compliant with the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements, and did not present it as a “‘fun activity” as the Parklands College teacher had. 

“The CEO of Umalusi, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, has expressed his appreciation for the prompt response from Midstream College, thanked Dr Kriek for clarifying the issue, and considers the matter resolved,” said Umalusi’s head of communication, Lucky Ditaunyane.

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