Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said on Friday he was disappointed and felt undermined that one of the country's most elite schools wanted to "justify racism".
St John's College in Johannesburg has been engulfed in a race crisis after a teacher was found guilty of misconduct in an internal hearing about a racist campaign against black, Indian and Greek students, as well as foreign students. The teacher was given a final written warning but retained by the school.
Lesufi visited the school on Friday morning. He asked that St John's College withdraw the public statement they released regarding the teacher, and had until 13:00 to respond to the list of demands.
The teacher is currently facing three charges: bringing the school into disrepute; contravening the South Africa Council of Education's code; and making racist remarks.
Lesufi ultimately wanted to give the school an opportunity to redeem itself.
He had been disappointed after listening to the principal's recent interview on radio and felt the principal was not fit to handle the matter.
Pupils at St John's College, meanwhile, reportedly boycotted the school's inter-house athletics meeting on Friday. Some were wearing black armbands in protest at recent developments.
However, the school had been dismissed by 12:00 on Friday, and the boycott was interrupted.