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EFF asked Brackenfell High principal to look into racism claims, says party

A group of community members, among them parents of Brackenfell High School learners, sparked a brawl with EFF supporters who'd gathered outside the school to protest.

Members of the EFF protest outside Brackenfell High School. Image: EFF Western Cape/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said that it did ask the principal of a Brackenfell school to also look into racism allegations prior to the violence that unfolded on Monday.

A group of community members, among them parents of Brackenfell High School learners, sparked a brawl with EFF supporters who'd gathered outside the school to protest.

• Tensions flare between EFF & Brackenfell residents over private matric party

One arrest was made following yesterday's confrontation.

It is alleged that only white grade 12s and their parents were invited to a recent private gathering, which the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said it never sanctioned.

Speaking on CapeTalk on Tuesday morning, the EFF's Melikhaya Xego said that the party wanted a thorough probe into the issue.

"When you get such a complaint, you don't dismiss the complainant. We asked the principal to investigate this thing and come back to us with facts about what happened. Then he said it was a private thing but he does accept that it did happen but that it wasn't authorised by the school."

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also weighed in, saying that the violence was deeply regrettable and the matter must be investigated.

READ: Brackenfell High violence brings back hurtful memories of SA's past - Ramaphosa

The president urged everyone concerned to exercise restraint and to resolve their differences peacefully and through dialogue.

“We should not allow what has transpired at Brackenfell High School to be used by any groupings who want to cause racial polarisation,” he said.

On Monday, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) condemned the violent scenes that played out outside the high school.

The commission said it was disappointed by the violence as well as the allegations that preceded it. It added that learners should not have been exposed to the violence and racial tensions that played out in front of their school.

'EFF MUST STAY AWAY'

Police are monitoring Brackenfell High School following the violence that broke out between a group of EFF supporters and some parents and bystanders.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said that the school would approach the court to obtain an interdict against the EFF.

"We are asking now for the EFF to stay away from the school because what happens is that you end up with confrontations with an illegal gathering like we saw yesterday and the result of those illegal actions is absolutely unacceptable."

EFF Member of Parliament, Piaba Madokwe, said that they trusted that the court would support their call.

"We still hold the constitutional rights to gather. The school can do whatever it wants, we've had interdicts against us before but we trust the courts will always be on our side because we are still on the right side of history."

Additional reporting by Sifiso Zulu.

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