Pupil restricted from entering his Christian school for wearing isiphandla



A Christian school has denied a grade 2 pupil from attending classes for wearing isiphandla.

Isiphandla is a cultural bracelet made from animal skin.

The nine-year-old pupil at Christian Life Private School in Buccleuch, Johannesburg, was not allowed to enter the school on Thursday and was sent home.

The letter, written by pastor and board chairperson Lindsey Lefebure to the boy’s parents said that things that are against Christianity beliefs are not allowed in the school.

Christian Life Private School does not allow the wearing of this band at school. It brings with it a belief in the protection of the ancestors which is contradictory to our belief in the blood of Jesus and His victory on the cross of Calvary.

“As a Christian school, we stand very strongly against all forms of spiritual connections, charms, rituals and devices for protection other than of Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God.”

The boy’s mother who was disapointed by the school’s actions explained how the isiphandla came to being.

“We went to Durban to hold a cultural ceremony for my child to be accepted by his father’s ancestors a week ago. He was given isiphandla, which no-one is allowed to remove but should break off on its own.

On Wednesday, he was told to hide the bracelet with a long sleeve but on Thursday, when his father took him to school, the principal, Virginia Naidoo, gave him a letter of suspension without discussing with the parents.

“He could not understand why he was not going to school on Friday. How do I explain to my child that his culture was not accepted at school?”

The school, however denied that the boy was suspended but sent home because his isiphandla was against their beliefs. It encouraged the parents to contact the school for more clarification.

The mother said the school’s stance was disturbing and seemed like they wanted them all to forget their culture as Christians.

She also said no document against being culturally inclined was signed and if she had known that the school was against their culture, they would not have enrolled their child there.

Naidoo said she would consult the school’s directors before she comments on the matter.

They will meet via Zoom this morning (Monday).


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