Tensions flare at Hoërskool Overvaal

18 January 2018 - 13:16 By Timeslive
Members of the police clear barricades outside Hoerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on the second day of protests there. Police have been removing barricades and monitoring the violent protest.
Members of the police clear barricades outside Hoerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on the second day of protests there. Police have been removing barricades and monitoring the violent protest.
Image: Alaister Russell

Tensions flared as a second day of protests erupted outside Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on Thursday while police kept a close eye.

The Gauteng school has been at the centre of racial tensions after it refused to accept 55 English-speaking pupils.

Some protesters set up barricades outside the Afrikaans school on Thursday.

Tensions flared after protesters opposed to the school's language policy pelted a resident who had attempted to remove protest barricades with stones.

Police have been removing barricades and monitoring the situation.

Hoërskool Overvaal entered its second day of protests on Thursday, 18 January, 2018. The school has been at the centre of a language row after the Gauteng education department instructed it to accept 55 English-speaking pupils. Video by BOIKHUTSO NTSOKO Edit by ABIGAIL JAVIER Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

Members of the farming community and protesters on Thursday took video footage of one another amid a tense standoff.

A member of student organisation Cosas threatened to damage a car attempting to pass through a protest barricade.

Protesters also jumped on and burned a DA t-shirt.

The school this week won a legal victory in the Pretoria High Court‚ which ruled that the department of education had issued an illegal instruction when it ordered the school to accept the English speakers.

Ten protesters were arrested on Tuesday‚ but were released on R500 bail each after a brief appearance in the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court‚ according to Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini.

After featuring prominently in Tuesday’s protests‚ Economic Freedom Fighters supporters were conspicuous in their absence on Wednesday.

However‚ supporters of the African National Congress‚ the ANC Youth League‚ the South African Students Congress Organisation‚ Young Communist League as well as the Congress of the South African Students' were visible among the protesters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile‚ the South African Human Rights Commission has voiced its concern about developments.

"The South African Human Rights Commission is concerned about what happened here yesterday‚ but there are many rights at play here and we are not here to discuss the court judgment‚”said Human Rights Commission chairperson responsible for education Andre Gaum.

“There is a broader discussion on the matter of language rights' and education as such although the case is whether the school is full or not‚" he said.

He said although the Human Rights Commission respected people's right to protest‚ it should be done in a peaceful and unarmed manner.

His remarks followed a claim by Tlhoriso Mofokeng‚ the chairperson of Overvaal Transformation Committee‚ that some of the Afrikaner parents were visibly armed with guns and that police had done nothing about it.


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