Schäfer condemns violence, rules out action against Brackenfell High teachers

This after tensions flared up outside Brackenfell High School on Monday morning when some residents, parents, and members of the EFF clashed during a protest called by the party against racism.

FILE: Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer. Picture: @DebbieSchafer/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer on Monday said her department would not take action against the two teachers who attended a private matric party in Brackenfell in Cape Town, which was allegedly attended exclusively by white pupils two weeks ago.

This after tensions flared up outside Brackenfell High School in the morning when some residents, parents, and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) clashed during a protest called by the party against alleged racism.

In videos circulating on social media, people were seen physically attacking each other and throwing stones. At least one person was arrested for public violence.

In a statement, Schäfer strongly condemned the violence and said the event in question had nothing to do with the school as it was organised by some parents of matric pupils who attend the school.

“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,” Schäfer said.

She added: “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.”

The MEC urged all parties to engage with one another in a “responsible and adult manner”. She also slammed the EFF for organising their protest action when pupils were writing their final matric exams.

“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.


EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego told Eyewitness News they wanted to do an oversight visit but were blocked from doing so.

The party also condemned the clashes outside the school, saying the attacks were conducted by “armed white-racists” against its members who held a peaceful protest.

“The attacks in Brackenfell are yet another confirmation that racists are emboldened under the current regime. It confirms our long-held belief that peace without justice is futile, and that as a nation, we have forgiven people who have no remorse for the oppression they subjected our people too.

“Our laws are undermined, and law-officials are bullied by white-racists, who have decided that there is no black government or black authority that can threaten their grip on sections of our society,” said EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo in a statement.

The party said the “terror attacks” would not go unanswered and threatened to descend on Brackenfell in protest like it did in Senekal, Free State, in October when the two men accused of killing farmer, Brendin Horner, appeared in court.

“The EFF will descend on Brackenfell in its entirety and ensure nothing operates. All those white racists who have an uncontrollable desire to control the movement of black people, and dictate where we can and cannot go, will be taught the humility we taught racists in Senekal.

“They have pushed us, and they must prepare to be pushed back harder. The EFF will communicate the way forward to all its structures,” the statement read.

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