Sharp Attitude

A gay teacher complained about student’s insults; then the kid’s parent tried to stab him

Masakheke Combined School. Courtesy city of Robertson

A gay schoolteacher in Robertson, South Africa, a city near Cape Town, has gone public over a vicious attack wherein the parent of a student stabbed him.

Thando Dyamara works as a teacher at Masakheke Combined School, a high school-level institution. The trouble began when Dyamara encountered a student off-site from school grounds.

“I heard a child calling me a moffie [an African slur for a gay man], and I went to reprimand him,” Dyamara told IOL. He and a friend later stopped by the student’s house, “and was met by his mother who was rude and shouted at me. She said her husband would deal with me.”

At that point, things turned violent.

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“I called the police to report a case of discrimination. Her husband appeared out of nowhere and smacked me with an open palm. The husband took out a knife and wanted to stab me. If my friend was not there it would have been a different story.”

Adding insult to injury, the parent in question served on the student governing body of Masakheke School; the South African equivalent of the school board. When Dyamara reported the incident, the school refused to take action, as the incident did not occur on school grounds. The parent has since resigned from the governing body.

Police are investigating the attack as a “common” incident, and have yet to make any arrests. For Dyamara, the response hasn’t been supportive enough. “Members of the LGBTI+ community are not given the respect they need and deserve,” he says. “The community, even though it is diverse, needs to respect gay people.”