The sleepy town of Schweizer-Reneke in the North West is on tenterhooks after a picture showing black and white pupils sitting separately according to race in a Grade R classroom at the local primary school went viral.
A group of protesters - mainly Economic Freedom Fighters members - converged on Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke as North West Education MEC Sello Lehari conducted an inspection on Thursday.
The teacher who is alleged to have separated the children has been suspended.
It has been reported that the teacher has left the town.
While the school's governing body said the school was technically open on Friday, many parents kept their children at home.
The photo was posted on social media on Wednesday - the first day of the 2019 academic year - and soon became the centre of debate on racism and race relations, both in Schweizer-Reneke and South Africa at large.
On Thursday, more photos emerged, seemingly from the same set, and they showed the pupils sitting together.
Many parents have defended the teacher, saying she loved all of her pupils.
A teacher from another school in the town told News24 that racism would never end in the area.