South Africa - Cape Town - 6 November 2020. A group of EFF supporters protesting outside Brackenfell High School. The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has demanded an apology for black pupils and parents at the school, who felt excluded when a privately-organised matric ball was only attended by white pupils. The northern suburbs school landed in the spotlight this week when a parent took to social media to decry the matric ball, which was videoed showing only white pupils and their partners. Two teachers from the school also attended the event. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Cape Town - 6 November 2020. A group of EFF supporters protesting outside Brackenfell High School. The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has demanded an apology for black pupils and parents at the school, who felt excluded when a privately-organised matric ball was only attended by white pupils. The northern suburbs school landed in the spotlight this week when a parent took to social media to decry the matric ball, which was videoed showing only white pupils and their partners. Two teachers from the school also attended the event. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Calls for Brackenfell High principal’s suspension

By Asanda Sokanyile Time of article published Nov 7, 2020

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Cape Town - The EFF has called for the suspension of two teachers who attended a private matric function allegedly organised by white pupils of Brackenfell High School earlier this week.

The party has also called for the suspension of the principal.

Some parents, private security and EFF members protested outside the gates of the school yesterday.

What was meant to be a peaceful picket ended with the windows of an EFF vehicle being smashed and a verbal altercation between parents and party members.

Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed a malicious damage to property case was reported to Brackenfell police following the protest.

EFF deputy chairperson Nosipho Makamba-Botya said the party had “laid a charge with SAPS following the violence that erupted”. “They said they will investigate and also obtain video footage from the school to determine what transpired,” she said.

Student command provincial convener Khotso Lefeela said the EFF disputed claims by the principal and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

“How can the principal distance himself from an event that was held under the banner of his school, an event he had knowledge of? Even if the event was private and planned by these bourgeoisie, the school would have had to give the go-ahead. What we are saying is that we do not accept this denial by the school or the education department.

“When the school saw that this function was being planned and it excluded the black, Indian and coloured pupils, why did they allow it to continue?” he said.

The party has confirmed its call for the two teachers who attended the function, as well as the principal, to be suspended pending an investigation.

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said although no allegations of discrimination had been made against Brackenfell previously, the department was engaging with the school on allegations that had surfaced as a result of the party.

Hammond, however, disputed claims that the event was the annual matric farewell usually organised by the school.

“There was no matric ball this year as a result of Covid-19. The SGB made a decision not to host a matric ball due to health and safety concerns.”

Hammond also blamed social media for having created a stir.

“The school had nothing to do with the organisation or management of that event. It was not held under the school’s banner – social media have just made it out that way,” she added.

Hammond also confirmed that the event was not held on school premises, adding that there was no evidence that other racial groups were excluded from the event.

“Neither the school, nor the WCED has the authority or power to intervene in what people do in their private time. Many pupils over many schools have arranged private matric celebrations over the past month or so because of their own matric balls being cancelled, many of which have been small events – within friendship circles.”

A letter, seen by the Weekend Argus, sent to pupils and parents in September also indicated that there would not be a matric ball hosted by the school due to Covid-19 regulations.

Parent Ivan Simmers, who is now calling for the intervention of the SA Human Rights Commission, said the sad thing was that “these children are good children but they are being badly brainwashed by their parents, and this will lead to more Penny

Sparrows of this world”.

Weekend Argus

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