The violent protests between the EFF and residents outside Brackenfell High School in Cape Town were highly condemned by Parliament as matriculants did not need the “added stress”.
A fight broke out between EFF members and residents outside the school on Monday when the red berets were protesting against racism following a social media post which alleged a matric farewell event was held strictly for white pupils.
The fight led to police dispersing the crowd using stun grenades, while a man was arrested for firing an airgun during the unrest.
But basic education portfolio committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba condemned the protest, calling for calm to be restored at the school as matriculants were in the middle of their final exams.
“I think it is important for all the parties to remember that the Grade 12s have started their National Senior Certificate examinations. This has already been an extremely challenging year for the Class of 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the academic year being disrupted. They do not need the added stress of violent protests as they are trying to focus on the examinations,” said Mbinqo-Gigaba.
It is alleged that the school hosted a matric farewell for white pupils while non-whites were not informed nor invited to the event.
The school has since distanced itself from the event, while the Western Cape education department said the event was privately hosted and was not organised by the department nor the school.
But action would be taken should it be found otherwise, said Mbinqo-Gigaba.
“Should the investigation find that any officials, including educators, be found to be involved, were aware or approved of the function, action should be taken against them. Furthermore, I call on all parents and other parties not to take the law into their own hands.”
Private events, however, have nothing to do with any political party and the EFF’s demand for the principal to be fired was “absurd”, said DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela.
“Private events have absolutely nothing to do with any political party, and it was an outrage that the EFF believed they could arrive to protest outside the school and threaten parents and learners during the matric exam period…”
“It is also unfortunate that some community members responded in kind. Violent confrontations will do nothing to advance rational analysis, which is more needed in South African today than ever before,” Madikizela.