Old Girls pledge their support for learners at Pretoria High School for Girls

We, alumni of Pretoria High School for Girls stand in solidarity with the bold and courageous learners of the school, who have spoken out about rank racial discrimination at our old school. We are emboldened and inspired by their brave and principled stance in upholding the values the school was established on. These are encompassed in the mission statement of the founding headmistress, Ms Edith Aitken, who established the school with the honourable goal of educating young women so that we may leave our mark on the world, shape agendas and fight for equitable change when called upon. Many of the school’s alumni have answered this call over the years. Ms Aitken’s values are self-evident in many of the esteemed public figures, big and small, which spent their formative years at the school. Among these are educationists, public interest lawyers, the public health system’s doctors and nurses, and other professionals.

So, whilst many of us were familiar with some of the school’s more archaic practices in our day, it is with dismay that the country’s attention was drawn yesterday (Monday 29 August) to present-day racism, bullying and patently race-based shaming of black women’s bodies by staff at the school. Some accounts point to black staff members being demeaned as well, and so we level our dissatisfaction at the school’s poor track record with regard to transformation of the staff-body that is not commensurate to the changing body politic of the school.

We pledge our support to the crop of young women-leaders who have brought national attention to issues we are sorely aware are rampant not only at PHSG, but across the country’s Model C schools.

Girls, we are with you in spirit, minds and bodies, and we assure you that as Old Girls you have all of our support. We are here to share with you our experiences of the school and situation you find yourselves in, and are a call away should you seek any guidance, assistance and other practical services. Among us are lawyers, student activists, psychologists, doctors and members of the media. We are also academics at tertiary institutions, teachers, and nurses.

Call on us if you need to, but remember also: you have inspired us. There is much we’d like to learn from you, too.


1. Sibongile Hill (Class of 2002) – Medical Doctor
2. Tidimalo Ngakane (Class of 2002) – Lawyer
3. Katy Hindle (Class of 2002) – Lawyer
4. Akhona Pearl Mehlo (Class 2002) – Lawyer
5. Janet Jobson (Class of 2002) – Civil Society
6. Angelique Terblanche (Class of 2002) – Manager
7. Letebele Tsebe (Class of 2004) – Scientist
8. Shanti Aboobaker (Class of 2004) – Journalist
9. Jocelyn Evans (Class of 2004) – Engineer
10. Nqobile Simelane (Class of 2004) – Economic Development Manager
11. Christine Emmett (Class of 2004) – Academic/Commonwealth scholar
12. Yonda Siwisa (Class of 2004) – Advertising Executive
13. Ncumisa Sakawuli (Class of 2004) – Banker
14. Anushka Singh Bhima (Class of 2004) – Lawyer
15. Linda Lesu (Class of 2004)
16. Tali Cassidy (Class of 2005) – Epidemiologist
17. Lindelwa Skenjana (Class of 2005) – Marketing
18. Nadia Ebrahim (Class of 2005) – Scientist and Teacher
19. Leila Ebrahim (Class of 2005) – Dentist
20. Diale Maepa (Class of 2007) – Medical Doctor
21. Lerissa Govender (Class of 2004) – Lawyer, Civil Society
22. Moipone Moloantoa (Class of 2004) – Advertising and Marketing
23. Carla Dennis (Class of 2002) – Actress
24. Thuli Zuma (Class of 2003)
25. Katie Miller Beyers (Class of 2002)
26. Olympia Shabangu (Class of 2002) – Lawyer
27. Pilani Bubu (Class of 2002) – Entrepreneur, Singer-Songwriter
28. Leila Badsha (Class of 2005) – Entrepreneur
29. Thabisile Tilo (Class of 2006) – Teacher
30. Danielle Kriel (Class of 2004) – Lawyer
31. Olympia Shabangu (Class of 2002) – Lawyer
32. Dina Lamb (Class of 2002)
33. Tessa Kerrich – Walker (Class of 2002) – Entrepreneur
34. Myna Pindeni (Class of 2004) – Women Empowerment Programmes Officer
35. Julia Eccles, (Class of 2003) – Advertising professional
36. Jenni Myburgh (Class of 2004) – Author and app founder
37. Erin Hommes (Class of 2004) – Activist and senior researcher
38. Jessica Schnehage (Class of 2004) – Entertainment consultant/Business Owner
39. Nuraan Muller (Class of 2000) – Director
40. Refilwe Tilo (Class of 2002) 
41. Chantelle Gilbert (Class of 2002) Restaurant owner/chef
42. Laura Ilunga (Class of 2003) – Pilot
43. Princess Magopane (class of 2002) Lawyer
44. Desré Khanyisa Barnard, 2003, Master’s student, ad hoc lecturer
45. Tshegofatso Phala, 2004, Pro Bono Attorney and Human rights activist
46. Lethabo Maboi (Class of 2003) Creative Director at Styled By Boogy
47. Sanja Bornman (Class of 2000) Lawyer
48. Dieketseng Boshielo (Mokake) (Class of 2002) – Entrepreneur, supply chain & logistics
49. Palesa Motau (Class of 2004) Stakeholder Manager
50. Zimkhitha Malgas (class of 2005) procurement/logistics coordinator
51. Trish Stewart (class of 2004) advertising
52. Jessica Schnehage – (Class of 2004) Entertainment Consultant / Business Owner
53. Leila Badsha (Class of 2005) Entrepreneur
54. Maropeng Ralenala, 2003, Clinical Psychologist
55. Renée Hlozek, 2001, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Toronto
56. Kopano Marumo, 2003, Writer
57. Nobantu Nhantsi (Class of 2004) – Community Programme Co-ordinator
58. Shiluba Mawela (Class of 2004) – Impact Investor
59. Dr Francoise L.Y Goga (Class of 2006) – Medical doctor
60. Marli Roode (Class of 2001) – Author and journalist
61. Kuraisha Patel (Class of 2010) – Lawyer
62. Meka Ravenhill (Class of 2002) – Partner/Owner of Ravenhill Productions SA
63. Caileigh Pentz (Class of 2005) Industrial Designer
64. Katie-Lynne Roebert (Class of 2004) Lecturer in Higher Education
65. Amy Schoeman (Class of 2002) – Product developer
66. Dr Francoise L.Y Goga (class of 2006)- medical doctor
67. Oreratile Mogoai (Class of 2006) Research Specialist
68. Karin Heijboer ( Class of 1998)
69. Estee Burger (Class 2002) Brand Manager – South African Breweries
70. Fikile Nkosi (Class of 1998) HR Consultant – Archway Consulting
71. Ingrid Cloete (Class of 2005) – Lawyer
72. Larissa Meckelburg nee Focke (Class of 2001) MA student at Freie Universität Berlin
73. Jana van den Munckhof (Class of 2002) – Minister
74. Sithabile Mokgokong (Class of 1998) – Interior Architect
75. Meg Hendry (Class of 1998) Reflexologist
76. Sarah Richmond (Class of 2002) – University Lecturer
77. Bridget Corrigan (Class of 2002) Conservation Manager
78. Jane-Anne Kokkinn (Class of 2003) Film Producer
79. Lusanda Shimange (Class of 1998) OBGYN
80. Makosha Maja, (Class of 2000) Head of Insight (M&C Saatchi Abel)
81. Pamela Ilunga (Class of 1999) HR Director
82. Lebogang Mahlare Chemical Engineer
83. Jade Perumal (class of 2005), Operations Manager
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons