A girls’ dormitory at a South African boarding school has reportedly been closed over allegations of lesbian relationships.
The unnamed school, in the KwaZulu-Natal province, is said to have discovered two female boarders kissing this week.
Local reports say that the pair then identified 27 other ‘lesbians’ in the dormitory and all have now been expelled.
South Africa bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation but the country still suffers from homophobia.
South African education officials are investigating why the school was closed.
Education Department spokesman Sihle Mlotshwa told the Mercury that schools were not permitted to expel pupils for being gay.
He said: “The school has been visited by district officials on a fact-finding mission. There’s going to be meeting with all relevant stakeholders to look at this issue.”
Local gay rights activist Nonhlanhla Mkhize, of the Durban gay and lesbian community health centre, said the incident was “shocking”.
“Such incidents make you wonder whether schools are there to promote only certain aspects of society. Sexual orientation aside, this is a serious injustice to the pupils,” she told the newspaper.
Some of the 300 girls who lived in the dormitory are being accommodated in nearby centres, while others have been forced to return home.