The City of Cape Town has urged Capetonians to stay clear from violent Guy Fawkes celebration to avoid disrupting matric exams. Pictured is Naeemah Hendricks (left) and Aqeelah Hendricks (right). PICTURE: DAVID RITCHIE
The City of Cape Town has urged Capetonians to stay clear from violent Guy Fawkes celebration to avoid disrupting matric exams. Pictured is Naeemah Hendricks (left) and Aqeelah Hendricks (right). PICTURE: DAVID RITCHIE

Guy Fawkes Day, an unnecessary distraction for matrics

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Nov 4, 2020

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With this year’s Guy Fawkes Day coinciding with the first day of the matric final exams the City of Cape Town has urged the public to refrain from any acts of criminality.

Guy Fawkes Day which is celebrated on November 5, has become notorious for assaults, malicious damage to property and scores of fireworks-related complaints, the City of Cape Town said.

The City said the annual ‘tradition’ has, in recent years, been associated with acts of violence and intimidation by mobs of youths in a number of hot spots around the metropole.

“I can only hope that we will see a change in attitude and behaviour this year.

“Our staff will be on patrol in the areas that have developed a reputation as hot spots over the years, in a bid to deter attacks, but it is actually nonsensical that enforcement resources have to be devoted to this when there are other, more pressing demands that need attention,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith.

Last year, the Western Cape Education Department called for an end to Guy Fawkes Day and its celebrations.

MEC of Education Debbie Schäfer said every year the department received reports of recklessness.

She said: “We received reports of pupils throwing stocking filled with paint at motor vehicles or joining in to smear fellow pupils with paint.”

At the time the event coincided with the Grade12’s geography exam.

Schafer said it would be very unfortunate and infuriating if these exams were disrupted in any way because these pupils were targeted ahead of such an important matric exams.”

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