- The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation condemned the violence at the Brackenfell High School.
- The foundation said it had, in the past, demonstrated in a similar way outside schools on issues of racism.
- It was also concerned about the alleged segregated event attended by matric pupils.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AKF) has condemned the violence EFF supporters were subjected to at the Brackenfell High School in Cape Town.
The foundation said it had, in the past, demonstrated in a similar way outside schools on issues of racism.
AKF anti-racism manager Busi Nkosi said the foundation considered the right to protest as fundamental in the fight against racism and other social injustices.
“Those opposing the EFF’s right to gather and protest at the school seemingly did so on the basis that the EFF had no right to be in ‘their’ area. This mentality is one that must also be condemned,” said Nkosi.
Nkosi added that they are concerned about the alleged segregated private event attended by matric pupils.
He said it needed to be probed independently.
Nkosi lashed out at the dismissive attitude of the Western Cape education department, saying it indicates a serious lack of understanding of the gravity of the issue.
“In a country where issues of racism are at the forefront of the lived experience of almost all of its citizens, it is time that we acknowledge its existence and find ways of engaging around lasting solutions to eradicate it from both the private and public life.
“As we do this, we need to also have a conversation about how to deal with instances of alleged racism and whether the existing mechanisms to deal with these are sufficiently utilised and whether they are effective.”
“Let us also be mindful of the learners, who have to write their examinations in this unconducive environment, and put their interests first in all that needs to be done.
“These pupils have had to cope with the effects of Covid-19 and a hugely complicated academic year and do not need the added pressure of violence and conflict outside of the school,” said Nkosi.
Nkosi said the issue of racism should be probed by the SA Human Rights Commission and the provincial education department, with possible assistance from its national office.
“The South African Police Service must ensure that protests are conducted within the confines of the law and with little or no impact on the exam environment required by the learners of Brackenfell High School,” said Nkosi.
Meanwhile, EFF member Sibongile Nkasayi has opened a criminal case against a man who was caught on camera assaulting her with a baseball bat outside the school.
Earlier on Tuesday, the education department reiterated that the event was not a school function only for white people.
Education MEC Debbie Schafer said, if this was the case, the department would have acted immediately against the school.
“Firstly, had the media reports been true that this was a “whites only” matric function organised by the school, the WCED would most certainly have acted against the school immediately. This would have been a violation of our Constitution,” said Schafer in a statement.
“However, the school did not organise, host, arrange or endorse this event. It was a private party for 42 of the 254 matriculants in that school year.”