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

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gathered outside the school yesterday, demanding that the provincial Education Department takes action against two teachers who'd attended a private matric party recently.

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

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has called for calm following a violent confrontation outside the Brackenfell High School on Monday.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gathered outside the school yesterday, demanding that the provincial Education Department takes action against two teachers who'd attended a private matric party recently.

The party was arranged privately because the school was not having a matric ball. However, it caused controversy when it was only attended by white pupils and their parents.

"Don't resort to violence. I call on citizens to be calm and to deal with these issues in a responsible manner," Winde said.

He has also called for discussion rather than violence.

"Specifically because our matrics in a difficult year are trying to get their final exams done. We need to move away from the entrance of a school, we need to get around a table to sort these things out and we must make sure hta we give the youth of our province their opportunity, in a difficult year, to finish their exams."

Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has condemned the violent scenes which played out outside the high school.

The commission said that 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.

The Western Cape Education Department said that it would not take action against teachers who attended the private matric party in Brackenfell.

EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said that their issue was that teachers were apparently involved in arranging the party that excluded people of colour.

"White people have created no-go areas for black people. That will never happen. We are going back to that school, we will sit with the management of that school, we will sit with that governing body and we will get the answers that we are looking for."

But Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said that the school had nothing to do with the event.

"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," Schäfer said.

The EFF said that when members arrived at the school for an oversight visit yesterday, they were blocked by residents.

Videos showed people physically attacking each other and police firing stun grenades.

A man was also arrested for firing an airgun.

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