Brackenfell matrics are the most vulnerable, says SAHRC commissioner
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Matric pupils are the most vulnerable and most affected by these protest says South African Human Rights Commission's commissioner Chris Nissan.
Nissan was present at the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protest that was supposed to be held outside Brackenfell High School on Friday.
"Matrics are the most vulnerable at this point as their future is on the line. We understand that everyone has a right to protest but with that being said, pupils too have the right to learn in a safe and free environment," he said
More than a thousand EFF members embarked on a protest which was planned to be held outside the school. However; due to the large crowd and prior agreements with the police, the political party members were prevented from reaching the school where matrics were expected to write Physical Sciences Paper 1. Instead, they were stopped at the corner of France Conradie and Paradys streets.
The protest quickly escalated to rubber bullets and stunt grenades being fired at protesters while police blockaded the road leading up to the school.
Protesters armed with knobkieries said they were against the alleged discrimination and racism at the school. Earlier this month, a private matric farewell was held where only white grade 12 pupils were invited and at least two schoolteachers were in attendance.
The school has since denied the allegations. Nissan said the Human Rights Commission was investigating the matter.
A Grade 12 pupil at Brackenfell High, Sandra Mdluli, said she was relieved that the alleged racism at the school was being exposed.
“There will be no ’right time’ to break the cycle of racism at Brackenfell. So it's tough but I'm quite good at managing my time,” said Mdluli.
Class of 2020 has faced huge difficulties, which include a loss of academic teaching time due to the coronavirus pandemic national lockdown .
This lockdown resulted in the banning of public gatherings, which included matric balls.
“It is honestly not easy. I am religious so I have to say prayer. Because I wouldn't be able to cope if it wasn't for God, honestly,” she said.