Picture: ANA

Vereeniging - Despite the wild protests which hit the Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging this week, pupils at the institution were unfazed and continuing with their curriculum, a source close to the happenings in the institution told reporters on Friday.

Pierre Ronquest, of the New Found Generation which places life coaches to guide pupils at the school, said it was "business as usual" inside the institution.

"The spirit is uplifted. It's a great spirit in the school. The kids are enjoying the school at this moment. They are not afraid at all. They are not fearing anything," said Ronquest after he prayed with parents of the learners at the school.

"We want to thank police for their presence here, and to AfriForum for their help as well. There is peace in the school I must say. They are going on with their classes like it's a normal day." 

Pierre Ronquest who works closely with the Hoerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging through his New Found Generation says there is "peace" within the school. VIDEO: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Several South African Police Service officers stood guard at the main entrance of the troubled Afrikaans Hoërskool Overvaal school in Vereeniging on Friday morning, as tensions continue to simmer over the “exclusion” of non-Afrikaans speaking learners from the school.

An armoured personnel carrier police vehicle, popularly known as a Nyala, was stationed at the closed entrance of the school, with armed police around it. A police water cannon was also parked near the school entrance. Armed private security could also be seen milling inside the school’s premises while ambulances and paramedics were also at the scene. 

A crowd of parents who have pupils at the school congregated on one side, while members of the ruling ANC, who have protested in support of the excluded children, were gathering on the other side.

On Thursday, a SAPS van stationed at the school was set alight, as community members continued to protest against the school’s “exclusion” of non-Afrikaans speaking learners.

The situation had been tense but calm on Thursday, when the marked SAPS Nissan Hardbody double-cab was suddenly on fire. 

The fire was quickly extinguished before it could cause extensive damage. Police officers, pointing pistols and shotguns, then rushed to arrest groups of Congress of South African Students (Cosas) members who had been protesting at the school. 

There were skirmishes as most of the detained people said they had had no involvement in the arson attack.

Several shots have been fired outside the school this week, and some of the protesters have been injured in skirmishes with police.

African News Agency/ANA