Schäfer says violent clash between EFF, residents outside Brackenfell High School is unacceptable, Newsline

Cape Town – The MEC for Education in the Western Cape, Debbie Schäfer, has condemned the attack outside Brackenfell High School on Monday between EFF members and residents.

A protest by the EFF outside the high school against alleged racism turned violent on Monday morning when fighting broke about between demonstrators and residents.

A man, 39, was arrested after he fired several shots into the air from within a group of crowded protesters outside of the high school.

While the man was reportedly first charged with attempted murder, the police later confirmed he had been charged for public violence and not attempted murder, as previously indicated.

Schäfer lashed out at the incident, saying she was “deeply disturbed” by the violent clashes that occurred over a private matric celebration organised by some parents of learners who attend the school.

“I strongly condemn both the actions of the EFF members and those parents outside the school, who used violence to address their concerns. Violent attacks are simply not acceptable and will in no way benefit our learners.

“Violence is also not the solution to solving disagreements. I urge all parties to engage with one another in a responsible and adult manner, and for SAPS to ensure that our learners are protected from this kind of violence,” Schäfer said.

“Our learners are currently writing matric exams after a stressful and difficult year, and the EFF knows full well that this kind of confrontation will disrupt learning and cause unnecessary distress to our learners. To deliberately instigate this kind of confrontation clearly demonstrates that the EFF has little concern for the welfare of learners.

“It is yet another attempt by them to sow further division with populist antics,” she said.

Western Cape EFF chairperson Melikhaya Xego said he was appalled at the behaviour and aggression he witnessed at the organisation’s protest outside Brackenfell High School.

“We are not happy about what’s happening here today. Our intention was not to cause any chaos but to peacefully protest against the racism at this school. We stand against racism as the EFF, and we have proof that the function was a racist act.”

Schäfer added: “Whatever one’s views may be, the fact is that the event in question was privately organised, at a private venue, by private individuals. The school had nothing to do with the organisation or management of that event. It was not supported, funded or endorsed by the school in any way. The school did not hold a matric ball this year owing to Covid-19 concerns.

“The Western Cape Education Department cannot and will not take action against educators who were invited as guests and attended a private event, which they did not organise, and had no prior knowledge of the attendees. We are also not in the business of prescribing who people must invite to private events outside of school property.”

Cape Argus