“WE ARE qualified educators with more experience than the headmaster but we were told we were not wanted because we’re black.”

This is what teachers at Eldorado Park Secondary School in Joburg told Daily Sun.

The teachers said for more than three months, they had been spending their days under the trees at the education department’s district office in Pimville, Soweto.

One of the teachers said they had to stop going to work because of racism.“The principal, who is coloured, treats us like trash. He says he doesn’t want black teachers and the community has sided with him,” claimed the teacher.

The teachers claimed the principal even brought a knife to school and threatened them.

“We were once assaulted by coloured community members.”

One teacher claimed she was assaulted by a pupil and the principal did nothing.

Desmond Luvhengo, regional chairman of the South African Democratic Teachers Union, claimed the union had approached the education department about the matter but officials seemed unwilling to act.

Gauteng Education spokesman Steve Mabona said the department was aware of the situation.

He said: “We are concerned about the serious allegations levelled against the principal. Following a series of meetings at the school, the department has instituted an independent investigation into the matter, which is underway and expected to conclude in two weeks.”

Mabona said the district office tried to get the eight teachers to go back to the school while the matter was being investigated but they refused. He said their posts would be advertised to find replacement teachers.