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Brackenfell High: Ongoing tension sparks racial socialisation debate

This after violent clashes between the community members and EFF protesters there on Monday.

A screengrab of EFF protesters confronting members of the public outside the Brackenfell High School in Cape Town on 9 November 2020. Picture: @FloydShivambu/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The ongoing conflict outside Brackenfell High School has led to a debate around the issue of racial socialisation.

This after violent clashes between the community members and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protesters in the area on Monday.

Parents were angry that the political party had come to the school over a private matric celebration that was attended by only some white learners, parents and teachers.

The situation on Tuesday afternoon remained tense as parents, supporters, and police gathered outside again.

ALSO READ: DA under fire for comparing EFF with Nazis after Brackenfell school violence

The unofficial, offsite and private organised matric celebration has sparked debate about what constitutes racism.

By all accounts, the event was not restricted to white people, but it unearthed allegations of racism.

Among those calling for change at Brackenfell High School, is former learner, Ofentse Maybe, who said the claims come as no surprise.

“I was on the fence about it because I was like, ‘you know what people have the right to host their own functions’. But the more I looked deeper into it, I was like, ‘no man this isn’t right – the whole make up and dynamic and the build up leading to this function explicitly excluded people of colour (sic).”

The 2017 matriculant went out on Tuesday, because he says he was a victim of discrimination throughout schooling career and racism was often swept under the rug...

“I was part of this culture of a very racist nature of a team of being ostracised every time we went on tour. I was excluded from certain functions and stuff by the school – to a point where my mom had to come to the school and speak to the coach.”

Earlier in the day, African National Congress (ANC) members gathered outside the school earlier on Tuesday, while Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Education MEC Debbie Schäfer met with the principal and governing body.

They advised that the school would seek an interdict against the EFF, however, race politics and the debate around discrimination continues in the public discourse.

ALSO READ: WC's Winde calls for calm after violence outside Brackenfell school

There was a strong police presence in the area.

About 40 people, some of them parents and others residents, gathered outside, while some roads were cordoned off.

Armand Du Preez travelled from Kuilsriver, and said his nephew attended the school.

“My nephew goes to this school and I don’t want the EFF to come here because this is going to escalate very quickly,” he said.

The Congress of South African Students’ (Cosas) acting provincial secretary, Mphumzi Giwu, said he and fellow members were outside the school to support pupils who had been through enough stress and trauma with their schooling being disrupted by COVID-19.

However, he said they would also not tolerate acts of racism.

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