Brackenfell High SGB welcomes WCED report into ‘whites only’ matric event

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) found no evidence that people were excluded from a private matric farewell event based on their race.

Brackenfell High School

CAPE TOWN - The school governing body (SGB) of Brackenfell High Schoo l has welcomed the results of an education department investigation into this year's matric farewell debacle.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) found no evidence that people were excluded from a private matric farewell event based on their race.

READ MORE: WCED finds no evidence of racism at Brackenfell High

A parent of one of the pupils at the school arranged the function for her daughter and some of her friends, after the school's own matric party was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department said it had established that class representatives were asked by the parent to circulate invitations on their class WhatsApp groups.

ALSO READ: Claims of discrimination at Brackenfell High will be addressed - Schäfer

In the initial invitation, it was made clear that there were only 100 places available.

Once people had expressed interest, a separate WhatsApp group was then started for learners who RSVP’d and wanted to attend the event.

Officials said the fact that people from other schools also attended, proved that it was not a “school event”.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said: “The WCED remains committed to inclusivity and a celebration of diversity. We are also concerned though that people use events to mobilise racial tensions without ascertaining the facts.”

School governing body chairperson Guillaume Smit has welcomed the department's finding.

“We are grateful for the findings by the WCED, it exonerates the school with regard to that matric function since we, from the onset, said it was a private function and we had no prior knowledge of that and weren’t involved as the school.”

It was also found there are no grounds to take action against teachers who attended the private event.

Former Brackenfell High pupil: I'm not surprised about racism claims

However, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) isn't convinced of the findings of the department’s probe.

The EFF led two protests near the school last month, which descended into violence.

The party's Melikhaya Xego said they hadn't seen the report: “The MEC dismissed this allegation from the beginning, before she investigated anything. They’ve done this investigation and concluded but they never contacted us.”

He adds there are still unanswered questions: “Could they investigate and how did they investigate this thing without consulting the victims and the actual complainant – which is the EFF - because we’re the ones who alleged there’s racism there after getting reports from the kids.”

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