Public backlash over the Brackenfell High School Whites-only matric celebration continues. Equal Education says the incident is one manifestation of the racism found in schools across the Western Cape.
“The fact that the white kids didn’t see anything wrong with a “whites only” party at the school says a lot about the kind of future Brackenfell students should look forward to. The whole scandal is racially motivated in a way that it makes POC (people of colour) look and feel less of humans, which is completely wrong. POC were protesting against racism outside of Brackenfell High and were still attacked which is very disturbing. It is a shame that in our democratic dispensation, you still get such racially motivated acts. Personally, the principal should be held accountable, as he is the leader and is the one to promote a non-racial environment,” says Equal Education learner member (Equaliser) Mihlali Mateta.
The rights organisation says the fight for equal and quality education requires the dismantling of institutional racism (racist policies and practices) being experienced by Black learners (learners of colour) at formerly white public and private schools.
It is describing Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer’s response to the incident as “tone deaf, disturbing and shows deliberate ignorance of what racism and discrimination is and how it plays out in schools.”
In her official statement, Schäfer dismissed the discrimination as a private event. She said the teachers who attended the celebration would not be disciplined as they were at the event in their private capacity.
“This results in schools like Brackenfell High School continuing to be non-inclusive spaces, hostile at times to Black people.When the Western Cape MEC of Education lacks the political will to see basic racial discrimination, how will the department which she oversees be able to properly address long-standing problematic policies, practices and cultures in schools, and what hope do Black learners in the Western Cape have of attending schools that are safe and integrated?,” asks Equal Education.
The organisation is calling on the school community of Brackenfell High, the Western Cape Education Department and the Commissioner for Children in the Western Cape to play a more proactive role in investigating and addressing all complaints of racism at the school and uprooting institutional racism in schools in the Western Cape.
Meanwhile, Sibongile Nkasayi, who was caught on camera being beaten by an unidentified man, has opened a case of assault against her assailant.
No arrest has yet been made.
And the man arrested for discharging a firearm during the Economic Freedom Fighters’ protest at the school on Monday appeared in court on Wednesday.
Jaco Pretorious’ case was postponed for further investigations and he will return to the Kuils River Magistrates Court 25 January 2021.
The EFF has promised to return to the school to “teach racists” a lesson.
The school tried to interdict them but failed.
EFF PR councillor in Alexandra Moshe Mphahlele (35) has been released on warning from police custody.
He was arrested on Monday following a scuffle at the Alexandra Police Station.
Mphahlele appeared before the Alexandra Magistrate Court on Tuesday afternoon on charges of intimidation, assault, public violence and interfering with police work.
During an interview with the Alex Reporter after his release, the EFF councillor said he didn’t know or understand why he was arrested.
“We had brought the suspected rapist to the police station to be arrested, however the officers did not arrest him instead he was told to sit down in the charge office, we then asked why he was not arrested. Then an argument broke out between officers and the angry residents.”
Mphahlele says he was pepper-sprayed by the police during the scuffle.
“One officer threatened to strike the residents with a chair and then one of the residents poured water onto the officers and we got pepper sprayed. I could not see.”
His version of events are however different from those articulated by Alexandra police spokesperson, Sergeant Simphiwe Mbatha, while confirming Mphahlele’s arrest on Monday.
Mbatha told the Alex Reporter that: “Suspect together with a group of residents stormed our police station on Sunday demanding the release of a suspect accused of rape. I can confirm that a 35-year-old man is in police custody for assaulting our officers and staff members.”
Mphahlele has meanwhile dismissed claims that his arrest was politically motivated.
He is due back in court on 18 November.
An EFF councilor has been arrested for allegedly assaulting four police officers in Alexandra, Johannesburg.
Moshe Mphahlele together with a group of residents allegedly stormed the Alexandra Police Station on Sunday afternoon, demanding the release of a suspected rapist.
Alexandra police spokesperson Sergeant Simphiwe Mbatha says Mphahlele was arrested on Monday morning.
“I can confirm that a 35-year-old man is in police custody for assaulting our officers and staff members, he will appear in court soon.”
Mphahlele is a proportional representative (PR) councilor for the Economic Freedom Fighters in the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality Council, responsible for Ward 107.
On Monday afternoon, dozens of his supporters picketed outside the Alexandra police station, demanding his immediate release from custody.
EFF Johannesburg chairperson Musa Novela has told VOW FM that he is on his way to Alexandra to attend the matter.
Meanwhile the rape accused at the centre of the storm is under police guard at the Tembisa Hospital.
He is recuperating from injuries suffered when angry residents beat him up for allegedly sexually assaulting two women.
He apparently posed as a traditional healer and sexually abused the women when they went to him for consultation.
Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has condemned the attack on a 41-year-old paramedic.
Sidwell Maluleka was allegedly beaten and pepper sprayed while he was transporting patients from Musina to Tshilidzini and Elim hospitals, respectively.
The incident transpired at the Baobab Tollgate between Makhado and Musina on Thursday.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo says the paramedic was trying to warn a motorist who wanted to carelessly overtake him about an oncoming vehicle, but the driver ignored his signals and proceeded to overtake.
“When both vehicles reached a local filling station, the driver of the other vehicle allegedly insulted the paramedic. A heated argument then ensued. The suspect went to his vehicle and came back with a pepper spray. He allegedly sprayed it in the paramedic’s eyes, then drove away from the scene” says Mojapelo.
Majapelo says the Musina police have opened a case of assault.
MEC Ramathuba says her department is disappointed by the disrespect shown to the official and patients.
“Attacking a government official on duty is equal to attacking the state. We therefore call upon anyone who might have witnessed the ordeal to come forward as this might help bring the culprit to book” she adds.
The Limpopo Division of the High Court has delivered hefty sentences for the two of the five accused in the murder of a 57-year-old farm owner, Hedrick Peterson.
Phuti Phineas Molongoane (39) was sentenced to life in prison and 15 years for housebreaking with an intent to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances yesterday.
He was further sentenced to 5 years for the possession of an illegal firearm. Both sentences will run concurrently.
His co-accused Thapelo Nickel Motsamai (25) was sentenced to 15 years in jail for housebreaking with an intent to commit robbery and aggravating circumstances. His sentences will also run concurrently.
Three other suspects in the matter will learn their fate today.
The five men attacked and severely injured Peterson on his farm in Afuguns, outside Lephalale, in 2017.
The victim was severely assaulted with various objects and was later discovered and rushed to hospital by a relative, where he was certified dead upon arrival.
His assailants took Peterson’s two riffles, cellphones and other valuables and then fled the scene in his white Isuzu bakkie.
The police immediately launched a manhunt and the suspects were arrested months later. – Report by Mahlatse Phaladi @Guru_Mahlatse