Investigation under way into Brackenfell High School-EFF incident

Western Cape Government Authorities have met with the Principal of Brackenfell High School and the School Governing Body following violent clashes outside the school on Monday.

Members of the EFF and parents confronted each other amid allegations of racism. This comes after a private celebration was held for matric learners and claims made that only white learners were invited.

A group of learners, parents and two educators are reported to have attended the event. The school is applying for an urgent interdict against members of the EFF in an effort to prevent further violence.

Western Cape Education Minister, Debbie Schäfer, says an investigation is under way into the incident which sparked the violence.

Calm returned to the area. A heavy police presence, water cannons and private armed security officials patrolled the area. A police helicopter hovered overhead. Roads leading to the school were cordoned off with tape. Nearby a group of parents gathered, saying they are there to protect their children.

The violent clashes have been widely condemned. President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the confrontation as deeply regrettable and has called on all parties involved to act responsibly. Ramaphosa says what happened brings back hurtful memories of the past.

The President says that allegations of racism levelled against the school need to be urgently investigated. Addressing the media after the meeting Premier Alan Winde says he wants charges to be laid and arrests to be made against those who perpetrated the violence.

“These kinds of disruptions are not acceptable. Matrics already had a disruptive year. As it is Covid-19 has put so much pressure on anybody trying to finish their final exams. My message to the EFF you may not come and disrupt this community. You need to stay out. We need to keep the politics away from this school right now and we need to give the learners every opportunity for them to complete the year.”

Western Cape Minister of Education, Debbie Schäfer, who also attended the meeting says the event was a private party and not organised or funded by the school.

She says it was a private party for 42 of the 254 matriculants in that school year. “I have asked for a detailed written report on this particular incident now. I’ve asked a number of questions and I’m going to wait until I get the written report before I respond to any more details. But the indications are from what I have so far is that it was a private party and it wasn’t discriminated against on the basis of race. And certainly, not all white learners were involved, were invited either.”