Brackenfell High issue is a reflection of what happens at former Model C schools in SA
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It’s Wednesday today, and by now we all know what happened not far from the gates of Brackenfell High School in Cape Town on Monday morning. Your opinions of who was at fault will, in all likelihood, be influenced by politics and how strongly you feel about the EFF.
But there can be no doubt that the scenes that played out, in full view of the media, were a stain on our democracy and the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.
However one feels about the EFF, the party’s members were exercising their right to protest. In this instance, it was over the alleged “racist” nature of an unofficial matric party, attended by white pupils only, two weeks ago.
While the school had no involvement, black pupils and parents have lifted the veil of entrenched racism at Brackenfell High.
Almost 30 years after schools were racially integrated, Brackenfell High employs no black teaching staff.
The casual observer can only conclude that while black children and their parents are accepted, they are certainly not welcome. It’s in this context that those who organised a private matric farewell saw nothing wrong with the fact that it was an exclusively white affair.
While Brackenfell High might be in the spotlight, make no mistake that this happens at former Model C schools across South Africa.
The response of the DA, charging that the EFF was behaving like Nazi “brown shirts”, is gaslighting of the worst form when the DA, desperately in search of white votes, has been lurching to the right.
The focus of Western Cape Premier Allan Winde and his Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has been on security at the school, even when there had been no threat to disrupt schooling by the EFF.
South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy was marked by the many compromises made by the country’s black citizens; after 26 years we’re not supposed to be protesting against entrenched racism.
In the name of a peaceful transition, the ANC entered into a Faustian pact with the National Party but, as we have witnessed over the years, Nelson Mandela’s compromise at the negotiating table was hardly reciprocated.
Once again, the ANC government’s failure to lead will ultimately cause its demise.