Advocate Marius Verster, left, represented Brackenfell High School SGB and advocate Deneys van Reenen, far right, the EFF. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)
Advocate Marius Verster, left, represented Brackenfell High School SGB and advocate Deneys van Reenen, far right, the EFF. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Brackenfell High SGB’s urgent court application to halt EFF protest denied

By Marvin Charles Time of article published Nov 10, 2020

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Cape Town – The School Governing Body (SGB) of Brackenfell High School has failed in its bid to obtain an urgent court interdict in the Western Cape High Court to prohibit the EFF from holding any further protests outside the school.

The EFF opposed the application.

The legal action on Tuesday followed a clash between EFF members and residents outside the school over a private matric function that was attended by white pupils and their parents.

SGB legal representative advocate Marius Verster said: “We need interim protection in the matter. We recognise that it is a constitutional right, but we believe that the demonstrations can be carried out somewhere else without disrupting the school. There are many places where they can continue the demonstrations.”

His submission stated: “It is very urgent that the relief claimed by the applicant (the SGB) is granted. The applicant seeks urgent interim relief in order to ensure not only the safety of learners, but also in order to provide a calm atmosphere during a very sensitive stage in their lives, namely their final school examinations.”

The school acknowledged the right to protest, but complained it had deterred the right to education.

The SGB asked the court to prohibit the EFF from protesting in various main roads leading to the school, including:

  • Brackenfell Boulevard (M100)
  • Okavango Road (M37)
  • Frans Conradie (M25)
  • Kruispad

The matter was heard before Judge Siraj Desai, who said: “The right to free assembly is fundamental. The issue is contentious as is. If the school was segregated, it is so repugnant that the protest is legitimate.”

Judge Desai accepted the undertaking from the EFF it wouldn’t impede on the current exams held at the school.

The EFF’s legal representative Deneys van Reenen said: “The party wants to engage with the school and practise their constitutional rights.”

No urgent interdict was granted, and the application was postponed until Monday to allow the EFF to file its papers on Friday.

Cape Argus

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