DA, SAHRC at loggerheads over Brackenfell ’racism’, school’s interdict bid against EFF delayed
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Cape Town – The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has rejected the DA’s comments regarding the allegedly racist matric event involving Brackenfell High School pupils and two teachers, saying the party was politicising a race debate.
SAHRC provincial commissioner Chris Nissen said they were acting as a Chapter 9 institution, which they had been consistent in doing whenever allegations of racism were raised.
Following blatant scenes of racism that unfolded near the school on Monday when the community mobilised after some parents organised a private matric event attended by white pupils only, the SAHRC publicly said they were shocked to learn that “in this day and age, a racially segregated private event was held for matric learners from the school”.
“More disappointing is the fact that this event was attended by their parents and two teachers from the school.
“The alleged holding of a ‘whites only’ event, if true, is also strongly condemned. No one should be allowed to bring back racial segregation to this country.
’’The deep racial divisions of South Africa’s apartheid and colonial past cannot be healed while children are socialised separately on the basis of race and thus, as a nation, we will never be able to forge a South Africa where all are equal, free and are treated with dignity,” the SAHRC said.
The DA, in turn, yesterday accused the SAHRC of “fanning the flames of racial divisions without any regard for facts”.
National spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe said: “The learners, parents and teachers who attended this private event in their personal capacities are now being attacked by the SAHRC in what can only be described as the most deplorable example of grandstanding,
“While the violent scenes outside the school should rightfully be condemned, the race baiting and misinformation should be rejected.”
But Nissen said the commission had to do its work. “We need to mediate; why is the DA politicising this? We are constantly in the face of allegations”.
ANC caucus leader Xolani Sotashe said the DA only supported the SAHRC when it was convenient to do so, as they often praised them when the topic suited them. He said the party should instead condemn the violence that transpired this week.
Meanwhile, an interdict before Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai, brought against the EFF by the school governing body, has been postponed to Monday to allow the party to file its papers. Judge Desai accepted the EFF’s undertaking that it would not impede the current exams.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation joined the widespread condemnation of the violence against the EFF.
“The issue of concern – the alleged segregated matric ball – is one that needs to be probed independently. The dismissive attitude of the Western Cape Education Department indicates a serious lack of understanding of the gravity of this issue.”