Cape Town – A parent on the organising committee of the controversial “Whites only” event involving Brackenfell High School matric pupils has apologised, saying “the whole thing was blown up.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, she said the event was private and she and other parents of her daughter’s friends organised it.
She said their children invited who they wanted to.
“It was never meant to be any of what they are saying, it just happened to be only white kids. My kids also have coloured friends, they invited their friends.
“I don’t understand why I must apologise for something I did not do wrong. It was not intended at all. I am sorry that they felt excluded. It was not meant that way,” the parent said.
The school has meanwhile maintained that the event was organised by parents, as the school is not hosting an official ball due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The northern suburbs school came under the spotlight this week when a parent took to social media to denounce the matric ball, which was videoed showing only white pupils and their partners.
The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has demanded an apology for its black pupils and parents who felt excluded.
Following this, another pupil alleged that racism was rampant at the school, and that it had not employed a black teacher since 1994.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond yesterday provided stats since 2011 that showed there were two coloured teachers currently working at the school, and 40 white teachers.
The one coloured teacher is employed in a WCED state paid post, while the other is a School Governing Body (SGB) post.
There are no statistics for black teachers on the WCED state paid post list at the school.
“The WCED has not had any previous complaints regarding alleged discrimination at the school this year. The district is engaging with the school on these allegations,” Hammond said.
Regarding the matric ball she said the department was aware that a private event which was not organised by the school was held.
Two teachers were invited to the event and attended as guests.
SA Democtraic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) provincial chairperson Jonavon Rustin said having diversity at the school was important and the school’s transformation policy should be re-looked at.
Of the exclusionary ball, Rustin said it did did not reflect well on the school and parent community.
“If we want to build a unified SA, such practices should be frowned upon and criticised. It needs to be corrected.”