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Selborne distances itself from controversial portrait

The controversial Selborne College poster
The controversial Selborne College poster

Selborne College has distanced itself from a controversial portrait that has caused outrage and confusion on social media.

The portrait‚ allegedly created by a pupil from the 2017 matric class of the prestigious East London boys’ school‚ shows two human-like dogs next to each other. One of the dogs‚ portrayed as a male‚ is carrying a faceless figure‚ while the other - portrayed as a gasping female - appears to be running besides them. The words‚ “The class of 2017 Selborne College” are written on it.

Some social media users who shared the poster said the portrait was a spoof of the iconic Soweto uprising photograph of dying Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo with his sister‚ Antoinette Sithole‚ running beside them.

The chairman of the governing body of Selborne College‚ Pierre Tilney‚ referred to the creation and posting of the portrait as “actions of individuals outside of the school”.

“Selborne College and the governing body strongly distances itself and will continue to distance itself in the future from such actions. We are unable to assume responsibility for the actions of individuals outside of the school but certainly can apologise on their behalf for the unnecessary emotion and unhappiness that this image has created‚” said Tilney.

He added that the school had “unfortunately noticed this post which could possibly depict the ending of their school days”.

“However‚ we as a school and community‚ fully understand the sensitivity around this post and can only hope that the person who created and posted this image did not have any malicious intent.”

Facebook and Twitter users who commented on the poster that was shared by a Selborne College pupil said they were offended by the portrait and found it “distasteful”.

The Selborne pupil who shared the poster on his Facebook page on Friday claimed the poster was created by the 2017 matriculants recently.


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