Tomorrow, the EFF will be protesting again outside Brackenfell High School in Cape Town and have threatened a “complete shutdown” of Brackenfell. There are indications that targeting schools for protest action will become an escalating EFF trend. For the sake of our schoolchildren, South Africa needs a strategy to resist and oppose this.
Western Cape Education Minister Debbie Schäfer met with City officials today to hand over an affidavit motivating with clear evidence why this protest should either be interdicted entirely, or have tighter restrictions applied and enforced. This follows various threats of violence made on social media by EFF leadership since the protest was given the go-ahead in the High Court, and worrying displays of violence by the PAC in Brackenfell yesterday.
The SAPS have said that they are adamant that they can cope with any eventuality on the EFF’s protest on Friday, and that there is no reason to intercept it. I do think that police and law enforcement do not understand the nefarious and selfish intentions of the EFF and are downplaying the seriousness of this protest as it presents a direct threat to the rights of children to safety and education. In upholding the right to protest, law enforcement must also ensure that individuals do not trample upon the rights of children to receive a quality education. It is regrettable that the SAPS cannot see the violation of this most basic right in this instance.
The DA has, within the confines of the law, done everything it can to prevent this protest from happening. This is not the last time that the EFF will hatch a scheme which seeks only to divide our country on the basis of wanton anarchy, racism, and hatred, and the SAPS and law enforcement must not be naïve as to what is unfolding in our country.
It can never be acceptable for school children to become the target of political protests, and particularly not when the motivations for the protest bear all the hallmarks of political grandstanding and opportunism. In the case of Brackenfell High it has not been established that the private function in question was racially segregated or exclusionary, but it is clear that the EFF don’t care for any such facts.