Johannesburg - Rights group Afriforum is mulling charges of hate speech against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) over alleged racist chants during protests at Hoërskool Overvaal.
The civil rights organisation alleges that EFF supporters chanted phrases such as ''white man you must die'' and ''shoot to kill the boer'' as tensions between parents and protesters ran high outside the school premises on Wednesday.
"Afriforum’s legal team will today serve a lawyer’s letter on the leadership of the EFF in which the party is asked to explain their stance on this incident. If these actions do not comply with EFF policies, we demand that the party distance itself unconditionally and institutes disciplinary action," Afriforum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said in a statement.
"If the EFF is unwilling to do so, Afriforum will lay a complaint of hate speech against the party in terms of the Equality Act."
Police on Wednesday fired rubber bullets at protesters outside the Afrikaans Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging, where 55 English speaking children had been turned away. The first day of school turned bloody when a couple of protesters were hit by rubber bullets.
Members of the EFF had converged on the school in the morning to demand that the "excluded" children be enrolled regardless of the language they speak. Members of the ruling African National Congress party also joined the protest.
This week the high court in Pretoria had ruled in the school's favour preventing the Gauteng department of education from compelling it to take in the English speaking children.
The Hoërskool Overvaal follows the criminal charges Afriforum laid against EFF leaders on Monday over protests at international clothing retailer H&M. The red berets camped at the doors of several H&M stores in Gauteng protesting against a racist advert. Protesters entered stores at Pretoria's Menlyn shopping centre and Sandton City, trashing the stores and causing damage.
African News Agency/ANA