Strong police presence at Brackenfell school as CPF urges residents to stay home
Cape Town – There is a strong police and private security presence outside Brackenfell High School after yesterday’s violent clashes.
The Brackenfell Community Policing Forum (CPF) noted that ’’any gathering will be deemed illegal and the authorities will act accordingly’’. Streets around the school have been closed off, with around 20 parents gathered on a street corner at one stage.
CPF chairperson Sean McClelland told IOL on Tuesday that ’’everyone’s rights needed to be respected, that of the protesters and of the children’’, within the ambit of the law and constitution.
’’Don’t become part of the problem, become part of the solution, stay home,’’ McClelland urged in a statement last night. He implored parents and residents not to “allow our kids to be used as political pawns’’.
The EFF has vowed to descend on Brackenfell “in its entirety and ensure nothing operates” after what it called a ’’display of pure white arrogance’’ by ’’armed right-wingers” that undermined the party’s constitutional right to protest against alleged racism at the school.
EFF leader Julius Malema has issued a stern warning on Twitter, saying that when they respond, “all fools will have an opinion”.
The Brackenfell CPF said: ’’We do appreciate the concern from the community regarding the safety of Brackenfell High. The South African Police Service, in conjunction with other role players, have measures in place.
’’We urge members of public not to escalate an already volatile situation. Please stay home and don’t put our children in harm’s way.
’’Brackenfell High is close to many other schools, including a special needs school. Any form of confrontation will result in putting the children in harm’s way.
’’Let the professionals handle the situation and don’t allow our kids to be used as political pawns.
Western Cape MEC of Education Debbie Schäfer and Premier Allan Winde, who have both condemned yesterday’s violence, visited the school on Tuesday to engage with management.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for calm and for all parties involved to act responsibly.
Ramaphosa also said in a statement on Tuesday allegations of racism levelled against Brackenfell High School needed to be urgently investigated.
"At this most important and difficult time for matriculants, not only at Brackenfell High School but around the country, the spectacle of parents and protesters coming to blows at the school gate is deeply unfortunate.
“What happened today brings back hurtful memories of a past we should never seek to return to.
“We should not allow what has transpired at Brackenfell High School to be used by any groupings who want to cause racial polarisation,’’ Ramaphosa said.