Home South African Man accused of discharging firearm at Brackenfell school appears in court

Man accused of discharging firearm at Brackenfell school appears in court

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Jaco Pretorius, 39, appeared at the Kuils River Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning for discharging a firearm – believed to be an airgun.

Heavy police and private security presence outside Brackenfell High School. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA

THE EFF has been angered by Brackenfell High School’s governing body wanting to prevent the red berets from protesting near its premises again while the matric exams are continuing.

This comes as Jaco Pretorius, 39, appeared at the Kuils River Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning for discharging a firearm – believed to be an airgun – in a public place during clashes outside the school on Monday.

His case has been postponed to January 25 for further investigation and he is out on a warning, said National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

With the EFF having threatened to descend on the school in its ‘’entirety’’ after Monday’s violent clashes, the party’s Western Cape chairperson, Wandile Kasibe, told EWN: ’’They think that they own Brackenfell. This is not apartheid.

’’They cannot think that they own Brackenfell and that black people must produce dompasses to go and picket there. I’m saying that it is not a separate state.’’

The EFF said six of its supporters were injured in Monday’s clashes, which included a woman, Sibongile Nkasayi, who was hit with a baseball bat, which was captured on video. They have laid charges of assault.

A window of an EFF bakkie, which was emblazoned with a picture of party leader Julius Malema, was also shattered.

Kasibe insisted that it was some Brackenfell parents and residents who had sparked the violence. ’’We were picketing peacefully (against alleged racism at the school). We’ve opened up cases against most of their members.’’

Yesterday afternoon, the legal counsel for the school, advocate Marius Verster, submitted in an urgent application at the Western Cape High Court that the protest be carried out at the municipal office or city hall.

Judge Siraj Desai pointed out that aside from the fundamental right to protest, if there was a hint of racism the EFF was entitled to protest, adding that ‘’this case deals with the very fundamental issues impacting upon society”.

The EFF papers are contesting the interdict bid and the full application will be heard on Monday morning.

Judge Desai said: “I want the exams to be written peacefully. The EFF is prepared to give an undertaking that it will not disrupt the matric exams on the understanding that they are still allowed to protest.

’’As long as the children are not endangered from entering the school and not prevented from writing exams.”

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, calling for peace and calm in Brackenfell, said: “The debate on race and discrimination is an important one. However, it can be done with the maturity shown by our Grade 12 learners, and not by inciting aggression or violence.”