SAHRC requests meeting with Brackenfell High School and WCED

By Lisa Isaacs Time of article published Nov 25, 2020

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Cape Town - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it has requested a meeting with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and Brackenfell High School, to discuss allegations of racism it is investigating at the institution.

The SAHRC on Tuesday held a briefing on its interventions around the school.

“Following the media reports relating to the exclusion of pupils from attending a matric ball, the commission immediately registered an own initiative investigation.

“The commission has since received complaints from the public, which will form part of the investigation,” SAHRC commissioner Andre Gaum said.

There were three key elements to the commission’s investigation: the alleged discrimination of invitees to the matric function, allegations of hate speech including comments from EFF MP Nazier Paulsen on social media, and the PAC’s use of the slogan “One Settler, One Bullet”, as well as police conduct during protests.

“On November 10, the commission held an unannounced site inspection of the school.

“At this meeting, the school denied allegations of unfair discrimination and racism,” Gaum said.

The commission had requested a meeting in a letter to the WCED, he added.

“Based on the outcome of this meeting, the commission will decide on further interviews to be conducted,” he said.

“With regard to the ‘One Settler, One Bullet’ allegations against the PAC, the commission believes there is a prima facie case to be made and will take that particular matter to the Equality Court,” said Gaum.

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond, however, said they had not received the letter.

“If and when such a letter is received, we will study its contents and respond to the sender,” she said.

Paulsen also said he had not yet been contacted by the SAHRC.

The DA has also referred him to the Parliamentary ethics committee for his comments on social media, where they said he allegedly referred to coloured people as “pets”.

The PAC had not responded to questions by deadline.

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Cape Times

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