News ‘It must no longer be tolerated’: Political reaction to...

‘It must no longer be tolerated’: Political reaction to EFF in Brackenfell

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Some South African politicians have slammed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for their behaviour outside Brackenfell High School on Friday 20 November 2020. While the EFF were granted permission to protest with no more than 100 people, it did not play out that way. The party also claimed it would be a peaceful protest, however, violent scenes did emerge as the day went on. 

The EFF maintained from the start that they would be protesting in Brackenfell to fight racism. This, after a matric party, was organised and allegedly excluded non-white learners.

FF PLUS ON EFF IN BRACKENFELL: ‘TOTALLY UNRELIABLE AND OUT OF CONTROL’ 

FF Plus Chief Whip and provincial leader in the Western Cape Dr Corné Mulder had tons to say about the Brackenfell protest. 

In an afternoon statement, he said the EFF did exactly what the FF Plus had expected. 

“The party showed absolutely no regard for a court order or its agreement with the police that only a hundred people will participate in a ‘peaceful’ protest march to the Brackenfell High School,” said Mulder. 

“At about twelve o’clock, the media reported that there were already more than 600 EFF members on their way to the school and at one point, the police had to use stun grenades and tear gas to keep them in check. Other witnesses estimated that the number of protesters was closer to 2 000,” he added. 

Mulder said in future, any undertakings from the EFF as regards any protest actions cannot be taken seriously. 

“The EFF has repeatedly shown that it is not interested in peaceful protest actions. Instead, its actions are aimed at causing violence, unrest and racial division. It must no longer be tolerated,” he said. 

Mulder said the Human Rights Commission (HRC) would investigate racism at the school, however, the EFF’s “thuggery and racialism” seem to be of less importance to the HRC.

Western Cape Education Minister Debbie Schäfer thanked SAPS, metro police and law enforcement for their “professional handling” of the Brackenfell protest. She also thanked the people of Brackenfell for “not allowing the EFF to complete their mission of a racial confrontation”. 

ANC IN THE WESTERN CAPE RESPONDS 

With regards to Brackenfell, African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson in the Western Cape Dennis Cruywagen said the ruling party holds precious the right to protest. 

“This is a fundamental human right that was denied to black South Africans by the apartheid state. We believe, however, that this right must be exercised by also recognising and respecting the rights of others,” he said. 

“We urge the EFF and other parties that want to protest outside schools to do so within democratic boundaries,” he added. 

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