EFF clashes with police as Brackenfell High march reaches 10 times permitted size

20 November 2020 - 12:07
Hundreds of EFF supporters assembled on November 20 for a march on Brackenfell High.
Hundreds of EFF supporters assembled on November 20 for a march on Brackenfell High.
Image: Esa Alexander

The EFF clashed with police on Friday after more than 500 members arrived to protest against alleged racism at Brackenfell High School in Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town permit for the demonstration allowed only 100 protesters to convene outside the school gate but by midday the number had swelled to nearly 1,000. Matric pupils wrote their physics exam at a different venue.

The police stopped the protesters in Paradys Road earlier in the day. EFF leaders maintained discipline although police told them they were concerned about protesters brandishing dangerous weapons. A rusty machete and a makeshift axe were seen among the crowd.

The leadership also negotiated with police to allow 500 people to march in an orderly fashion to the high school entrance. But a scuffle broke out between protesters and public order police.

Police threw stun grenades to disperse the crowd as rocks started flying in from several directions. Tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon were used in response.

The protesters eventually regrouped at a second police line, now 100m closer to the school entrance. The EFF leadership then brought their speaker truck closer and decided to address protesters at the police line.

Several members of the #JozitoStellenbosch group, who advocate for the expulsion of whites from SA,  joined the protest.

Earlier this year, the group clashed with police in Kayamandi after attempting to march on Stellenbosch to occupy shops and commercial buildings at a time when protest action was prohibited under Covid-19 regulations.

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On the other side of the school grounds, a group of white residents gathered in reaction to what they perceived as a threat posed to the school their children attend.

The group was smaller than during the recent confrontation with EFF members after the school admitted issues around alleged racism and committed itself to change in cooperation with parents and pupils of colour.

Present among the small group of Brackenfell residents on Friday were a few people wearing images apparently depicting the old SA flag.

Also represented was the Cape Party, whose mission is the secession of the Western Cape. Police asked the group to disperse because they did not have a permit to gather.

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