Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has described the clashes between parents and EFF members outside Brackenfell High School on Monday as deeply disturbing.
“The events that unfolded outside Brackenfell High School today are deeply disturbing. We need to ensure calm and think of learners who are writing their exams right now, after a difficult year. Violence and instigation are never the answer. Let’s address our concerns responsibly,” Winde shared in a video.
“What I saw today outside Brackenfell High School really disturbs me, where citizens are using a platform outside school to really stoke up emotions it is totally unacceptable. As citizens of this province, if we have an issue, we need to sit down and talk about it, we need to deal with it as adults specifically because our matrics, in a difficult year, are trying to get their final exams done.”
Winde urged the groups involved in the clashes to move away from the entrance of the school.
He called on Western Cape citizens to be calm and deal with the matter in a responsible manner.
Tensions flared up on Monday when angry community members confronted a group of protesting EFF members outside Brackenfell High School.
Physical altercations between the two groups left two EFF members injured.
This comes after claims were made on social media and in media reports that the event, which parents organised for matric pupils, was only attended by white pupils and two teachers.
According to EFF provincial chairperson, Melikhaya Xego, the party wanted to meet the school principal and school governing body to demand that the two teachers who attended the event be suspended.
However, on Monday the party was met by a large crowd of Brackenfell community members who said they were protecting pupils who were writing exams.
Former Brackenfell pupil Charlotte Mattheus said that it was unjustified for the EFF to “come and rock up” in front of the school.
“Everyone was invited,” Mattheus insisted.
“The school kids who wanted to go could go. A lot didn’t go because of Covid-19, but it was open for everyone.”
The private event was organised by parents and was held at a wine estate.
However, Xego disputed the claim and said the party was informed that black pupils were not invited to the event.
“We must not try and sugar coat things. They will definitely amend the invitation that we have received to… portray they are not racist,” claimed Xego.
The Social Justice Coalition condemned the violence.
“The conduct shown by some of the members of the Brackenfell community was violent and infringes on the EFF’s and other interested parties’ Constitutional right to protest,” said SJC’s Nomathemba Masemula.
“When marginalised communities decide to protest to express their views or dissatisfaction, it allows them a real opportunity to not only force a dialogue on the infringement of numerous Constitutional rights but also allows for meaningful participation and engagement in the decision making of issues that affect them.”