Curro teacher called a monkey by racist boss falls into depression

The Curro Protea Glen black teacher who was called a monkey by her former white boss plunged into depression a few days after she was racially abused.

 Nonkululeko Gwatyu, an English teacher at a high school of Curro Academy in Soweto, also suffers from trauma after Shanette Tiquin labelled her a monkey on the school premises in June.

 Gwatyu was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at a medical facility in Lenasia on Tuesday last week.

 Speaking to Sunday World, Gwatyu confirmed that she was diagnosed with PTSD and would visit her doctor at the local clinic on September 14.

“I am trying to get back on my feet and focus on my work, however, flashbacks of being racially abused are clouding my mind. After the dismissal of Shanette, I felt relieved that I don’t have to see her every work day anymore. Despite that I feel anxious because she still has influence through some managers, and I sense that I am being watched, and this makes me anxious. I have serious trust issues based on the fact that I am being watched and monitored,” said Gwatyu.

She said the doctor advised that due to her state of mind, it was not advisable for her to be allowed to continue teaching. She was flagged as a high risk. “The doctor communicated with the school’s stakeholders, and I was advised to surrender my grade 11 classes to my colleague so that I cannot be overburdened by the workload due to my situation.

“The school is doing everything in its power to help me get better, and the support from Curro bosses and my colleagues, including the learners, is enormous. I am taking everything a step at a time,” said Gwatyu.

Gwatyu said since she opened the criminal case against Tiquin at Protea Glen police station, nothing seems to have been done by the police. The investigating officer is not keeping her updated.

“The police have been quiet. I called the police station several times looking for the investigating officer, but I failed to get through to him and I would be told that he was not in the office.

“I am not sure what could be happening, and this is one of the reasons I am anxious. The last time I spoke to the investigating officer was when he requested the contact number of my colleague, who was present when I was called a monkey.

“I feel disheartened that there is no progress regarding my case as the SAPS is not doing anything about the matter,” said Gwatyu.

 Curro spokesperson Nadia Rossouw said: “Across all its schools, Curro Holdings reiterates that it is fully committed to unity, racial cohesion and dignity for all.”

Gauteng police failed to comment at the time of going to print.

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