Gauteng Education Dept condemns EFF, ANC protest at Hoërskool Overvaal

Protesters burnt tyres and chanted, demanding that the school bans Afrikaans as a medium of instruction and introduce English or another official language.

EFF and ANC protesters burn tyres at the Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on 17 January, 2018. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Education Department has condemned Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and African National Congress (ANC) protests that took place outside Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on Wednesday.

Protesters burnt tyres and chanted, demanding that the school bans Afrikaans as a medium of instruction and introduce English or another official language.

The High Court last week ruled against the department’s instruction for the Afrikaans school to admit English pupils, saying that this request was unlawful.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was scheduled to visit the school on Wednesday to assess it on its first day but this plan changed at the last minute.

The department’s Steve Mabona says that the MEC was advised against the visit after seeing the tense environment there.

Mabona says that the protests outside the school won’t help the situation.

“The situation outside here it’s quite an unfortunate one because we said there’s no need for us to disrupt any schooling.”

However, the EFF’s Mzizi Kodwa says that the legal route has already failed them.

“We’re not going to allow this school to operate up until they introduce English as a medium of instruction. They can’t use Afrikaans only.”

He says that they plan to continue protesting at the school on Thursday.