Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Education MEC Debbie Schäfer visited Brackenfell High School this morning, after the violent clash that occurred between residents and the EFF yesterday.
Winde and Schäfer had meetings with the principal and government body chair to make sure that everything is under control, and he stressed that the focus was on the learners’ safety as they write exams.
“Our top priority is to ensure that the school and its surrounding area are safe, and that learning can continue. Our matrics need to be able to write their exams without any disruption.
“I have also had a conversation with Provincial Police Commissioner, General Yolisa Matakata, and we are in full agreement that the safety of the school and its learners is non-negotiable and that the necessary police resources will be deployed to ensure this,” Winde said.
“Quite frankly, yesterday’s (action) was illegal, and it’s not about engaging with people who engage in illegal activity. That is unacceptable.”
According to Winde, the EFF did not have a permit to march. He also slammed the violence that occurred on both sides.
Winde said: “We actually did engage with police this morning, on what is happening there. We need to see arrests, because that is absolutely unacceptable violence from any side, so there are further charges to be laid, and we need to make sure arrests happen.
The MEC and premier said shutting down the school is not a consideration, in the current situation.
Schäfer said: “We are not going to allow schools to be shut down by people who have a different view of things, that is not how we operate.”
The MEC said that she had asked for a detailed report following the alleged matric dance post that was posted to the school’s Facebook page, and then deleted.
“I have asked for a written report on this particular incident. I have asked a number of questions, but there are a number more that I do have, and I’m going to wait until I get a written report before I respond with any more detail.”
Winde said: “Our matrics have had the most challenging year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its disruptions. We must think of them now. We are doing everything possible to ensure their safety and well-being.”
Winde also called for calm, and called on the EFF to desist from any further action outside the school.
“I particularly want to call on the EFF to not continue with their plans to escalate the situation in Brackenfell, as announced in their statement. As a political organisation, this escalation is not the leadership that South Africa needs right now.
“It will not be tolerated (as) we need to give the learners the best opportunity possible for them to achieve the results that they can.”