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Makgoba: Brackenfell conflict reflects failure to root out racism among children

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba on Sunday said it was unacceptable that children still openly made judgments about other children based on their race, let alone use crude and hurtful racial comments.

EFF members gather at Brackenfell High School ahead of their anti-racism demonstration on 20 November 2020. Picture: Zukile Daniel

CAPE TOWN – Following chaotic scenes in Brackenfell over alleged racism at a local high school, some religious leaders on Sunday said the latest development should be a wake-up call to every parent and governing body in South Africa.

In a statement, Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said the conflict reflected the failure of society, particularly of parents and teachers, to root out racism among children.

“The conflict at the school reflects the failure of society, and particularly of parents and teachers, to root out racism among our children. If parents and teachers fail to heed the warning which Brackenfell sends, their children are in danger of being exposed to similar confrontations in future,” Makgoba said.

Scores of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters descended in the Western Cape community on Friday to protest against alleged racial discrimination at Brackenfell High School.

ALSO READ: Police use force to clear EFF protesters from Brackenfell High

This was sparked by a matric function where only white pupils were allegedly invited.

Makgoba said after a quarter of a century after the country’s political liberation, it was unacceptable that children still openly made judgments about other children based on their race, let alone use crude and hurtful racial comments.

“It is even more unacceptable that the parents of such children bring them up to think there is nothing wrong with racial stereotyping. And it is unacceptable that parents organise ‘private’ parties to which admission in a community such as Brackenfell is restricted by affordability,” he said.

He added: “Nearly 30 years after the structures of the National Peace Accord negotiated a framework for the holding of protests, it is also unacceptable that leaders of political organisations and government agencies do not appear able to agree on conditions which allow for peaceful, controlled protest which respects the rights of others and the well-being of children.”

WATCH: EFF Brackenfell protest: Stun grenades, tear gas, water cannons & stand-offs with police

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