Schäfer: Brackenfell High Report Release Would ‘Not Be Appropriate’

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer

South Africa, Cape Town – On Monday, the MEC released a statement, stating that she received the report, and it was clear that there was no racism. Schäfe requested the report when she and Premier Alan Winde visited the school after a violent clash between EFF members and Brackenfell residents.

The EFF had been protesting against alleged racism at the school, after reports of a whites-only masquerade ball. EFF members were assaulted by parents and security guards outside the school.

“It is thus clear that this was a private event that was organised by parents of learners, who were disappointed that the formal school farewell had been canceled.

“The fact that people from other schools attended, shows that it was not a ’school event’. It was not held on school property, as has been widely reported, despite repeated corrections,” Schäfer said.

At Monday’s court hearing, where the School Governing Body (SGB) is seeking an interdict to prevent the EFF from protesting near the school, presiding Judge Siraj Desai said he did not understand why the school or department had not attempted to resolve the matter in a more amicable and sensitive manner.

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“In my opinion, the first thing the school and the department should have done was to immediately suspend the educators involved and launch an impartial independent inquiry. That would have helped them respond in a more sensitive and conscious manner,” said Judge Desai.

Representatives for Schäfer said that while the Western Cape Education Department had launched its own investigation into the alleged racism claims, an independent inquiry was also being conducted by the SA Human Rights Commission.

When asked about when the report itself would be released, the MEC said that they decided a statement on the matter would be more appropriate.

“We decided to release a statement, given the need to clarify the facts in this matter and the many inaccuracies that were disseminated regarding this event.

“It would not be appropriate to release the report itself, given the need to protect third party, confidential or sensitive information contained in the document. People may submit a PAIA (Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000) application, which would enable us to deal appropriately with such information, as well as obtain any necessary consent to release it,” Schäfer said.

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PAIA facilitates access to any information held by the state or private bodies which would enable the public to fully exercise and protect their rights.

Cape Argus

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