Cape Town – EFF members, who protested against alleged racism at Brackenfell High School following a masquerade only white learners attended, were assaulted by parents and security guards outside the school.
The protesters had announced on Saturday evening that they would have a march at the school to highlight alleged racism after reports of a whites-only matric party went viral on social media.
About 100 armed security guards, parents, guardians and residents, as well as biker groups, surrounded the school and as soon as the EFF members arrived, a number of residents charged them.
The Red Berets responded by throwing stones and sticks at their attackers.
In a letter to parents the school said 42 out of 254 matric learners attended the private event hosted at Skilpadvlei Wine Farm in Stellenbosch. The school denied any involvement or planning of the event.
A matric learner who cannot be named out of concern for her safety, said the school should have been aware about how the event would have come across to learners of colour, who were not invited to the party other than some being privy to a second-hand invitation that circulated on WhatsApp two days before the masquerade ball.
“The reason why this is such a hard thing for us to swallow is because these racist incidents have been building up. There are many instances that I can share where learners of colour were outright treated unfairly.
“We are not even surprised that the school is denying any involvement because that is their go-to for everything; they deny and sweep under the rug.”
However, resident and parent Jay J Kotze said that the party invitation was open, and shared with all relevant people.
“The party was a private event that was planned by parents for their children in matric. It was open to only 100 learners, due to Covid-19 regulations, and a fee of R500 was charged.
“It was not a whites-only party and a number of children of colour attended. The school is not racist and does not deserve to go through so much unnecessary drama because a parent felt a certain way. The EFF is opportunistic and needs to stop blowing things out of proportion.
“We will be laying charges against all those who instigated this situation. It is uncalled for, ridiculous and disruptive, especially at a time such as this. We have video proof of what happened that day and we will not be intimidated by the EFF,” said Kotze.
Former Brackenfell High learner Fernand Kihani who came to support the school and parents said that the school was not racist but instead a supportive family.
Kihani, who matriculated at the school in 2010, said: “I attended this school, as do my nephew and brother. None of us have experienced any racism.”
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer slammed both groups and said she was deeply disturbed by the violent clashes outside the school. “I strongly condemn both the actions of the EFF members and parents who were standing outside the school, and resorted to using violence to address their concerns.”