Brackenfell High School has become the subject of President Ramaphosa’s attention, after EFF protesters were met with a violent response on Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has weighed-in on the tumultuous situation which unfolded in Brackenfell on Monday. A group of protesters were attacked by parents near a local high school – after EFF members held a demonstration in protest of alleged racism witnessed at the institution.
A collective of students and teachers stand accused of organising a function that excluded black pupils – an allegation which has been strenuously denied by Brackenfell High School. The EFF has also raised complaints about the lack of black teaching staff at the facility and contested the issue during the second day of their protests.
However, the gathering soon descended into chaos – parents of students attending the school ended-up engaging in fist-fights with the EFF representatives, and public violence exploded on the streets of Brackenfell. An arrest was made when one person confronting the group allegedly fired a replica gun into the air.
The entire incident has now garnered some presidential intervention: Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the EFF, saying that they had a right to peacefully protest. The head of state slammed those who sparked a physical clash, saying that their actions ‘undermine the very principles of South African democracy’:
“It is the right of every South African to engage in peaceful protest, and any actions to suppress the right to freedom of expression must be roundly condemned. What happened today brings back hurtful memories of a past we should never seek to return to. Allegations of racism levelled against the school needed to be urgently investigated.”
“We should be ever mindful of the extent to which our actions, both publicly and in private, undermine the cherished principle of non-racialism upon which our democracy was founded. We should not allow what has transpired at Brackenfell High School to be used by any groupings who want to cause racial polarisation.”