Home South African Red alert: Classes go ahead as EFF plans ‘peaceful’ picket in Brackenfell

Red alert: Classes go ahead as EFF plans ‘peaceful’ picket in Brackenfell

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Brackenfell High School’s Grade 8 to 11 examinations, which were meant to be written on Friday, have been rescheduled ahead of a planned picket by the EFF.

PROTEST: Previous picket in Brackenfell turned violent. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency(ANA)

Brackenfell High School’s Grade 8 to 11 examinations, which were meant to be written on Friday, have been rescheduled ahead of a planned picket by the EFF.

The school will be open, however, for classes and matrics to write their Physical Science exams.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said arrangements have been made to ensure that the matrics write without any disruptions.

Schäfer has also scheduled a meeting with the EFF on Thursday to address the party’s issues with the school.

SAFE: MEC Debbie Schäfer

The school has been embroiled in a race scandal after parents and pupils accused BHS of organising a whites-only matric ball last month.

The school governing body, however, insists it had nothing to do with the “private party”.

The EFF has been granted permission by the City of Cape Town for 100 members to protest outside the school from midday on Friday.

Protesting on school property is prohibited by the SA Schools Act.

Schäfer said the protest “is clearly an attempt to intimidate the school, and is infringing on the rights of the learners who are writing exams”.

“Our learners have been subjected to unprecedented events this year and anxiety and stress levels are high. This behaviour is going to add to that pressure,” she said.

The demonstration follows a violent protest at the school last week when Brackenfell parents and residents chased party members away by force.

Schäfer adds: “I call on Brackenfell residents not to gather at the school with a view to engaging in altercations.

“Any action that would escalate tensions further will make it harder for law enforcement authorities to do their jobs. Please do not take the law into your own hands.”

EFF provincial spokesperson Wandile Kasibe insists it will be a peaceful protest: “We are going there peacefully, but if there are people with ulterior motives, we will defend ourselves like anyone would if they are under attack.”

Asked about the impact on learners who will be writing exams, Kasibe said: “The same learners who invited us to go there? We are not going to let them down, we are going to Brackenfell.”

He would not confirm whether the party’s leader Julius Malema will be present on Friday: “The secretary-general will be there, that is the only information I will give out for now.”

SUPPORT: Julius Malema. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Juju tweeted yesterday in relation to the protest: “Invitation accepted, bring it on.”

Meanwhile, the PAC is planning its own protest action, with members meeting at Brackenfell Train Station at 10am today.