Fists flew, (blank) shots were fired, and at least one person was arrested on Monday, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) describing the clash between its members and members of the Brackenfell community as an incident of “white terrorism”.
Police arrested a man for firing an air-gun during a clash between the EFF and residents outside Brackenfell High School on Monday.
The EFF had protested outside the school in Cape Town after allegations surfaced on social media that a matric farewell event was held strictly for white pupils.
In a video captured by African News Agency, residents are seen running towards the EFF members while asking them “what are you doing here”, with another resident heard telling them to “f*** off here!” and someone is heard telling them “you’re at the wrong place”.
Shortly after, fists start flying as a fight breaks out and protesters are seen running for safety.
In another video, police officers are seen trying to disarm and arrest a masked man wielding a baseball bat, while other public order policing officials line up with their shields and riot gear to disperse the aggressive crowd while stun grenades were launched.
— Musa Nyathi (@Mfanzodlan_m) November 9, 2020
According to police, 100 people had gathered outside the school, prompting public order policing and other law enforcement agencies to attend, said spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana.
“Police took action to disperse the crowd. No injuries were reported. A case of public violence was opened for investigation. A 39-year-old suspect was arrested for firing an airgun. People dispersed with no reports of violence, the area is currently quiet,” she said.
The EFF, however, described the clash as a display of “pure white arrogance” which undermined the constitutional right to protest.
In a statement, the red-berets said the school has never had a black teacher since 1994, demonstrating racism at the school at an “institutional level”.
— Kagiso Monyadiwa (@KagisoMonyadiwa) November 9, 2020
“The attacks in Brackenfell are yet another confirmation that racists are emboldened under the current regime. It confirms our long-held belief that peace without justice is futile, and that as a nation, we have forgiven people who have no remorse for the oppression they subjected our people too. Our laws are undermined, and law-officials are bullied by white-racists, who have decided that there is no black government or black authority that can threaten their grip on sections of our society,” the EFF said.
According to media reports, black pupils had said they were not informed nor invited to the function which was organised by parents and was not an official school event.
The Western Cape department of education had previously confirmed that the event was private and not organised by the school or the department.
The department of education was investigating allegations of racism in its staffing practices.