The EFF should look inwards before it mouths off about racial ...

Ideas

The EFF should look inwards before it mouths off about racial divides

There is segregation everywhere in SA, so picking on this school is political opportunism of the worst kind

Columnist

The pattern is now clear: whenever there is a potential racial crisis to exploit, the EFF descends on the scene of the crime and creates chaos as it fans the flames of racial strife, thereby drawing much-needed attention to itself. Think Clicks (the hair-care advert disparaging black hair), Senekal (the black-on-white farm murder) and now Brackenfell High School (all-white matric party). In the Clicks case, the management rushed towards a settlement (apology, money for bursaries) as violence damaged stores and shut them down. In Senekal, mostly out-of-town white right-wingers and bussed-in EFF berets were barely kept apart by police at the local magistrate’s court were the alleged murderers of a young white farm manager appeared. In Brackenfell, white parents climbed into EFF protesters as fists flew and gunshots went off.

At Brackenfell High, in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, it appears some parents organised a private matric ball, selling tickets for the occasion since the school was not allowed to host this popular event given Covid-19 restrictions. Fine, but only white students showed up and this observation made it to the media. Before the facts were in, the school was accused of organising a racist event and the EFF foot soldiers were deployed to protest.

No doubt, the school has a problem. It is an institution, like so many others, that is almost exclusively white in its staffing patterns more than 26 years since the advent of democracy. It has black pupils, but its enrolments are overwhelmingly white; the range of photographs on its website is, quite frankly, embarrassing for its one-sidedness. The blacks honoured on those pages are service workers and security guards; one is asked for his clan name. That Brackenfell High cannot “see” the problem with these offending images of itself tells a story about the normalisation of racial inequality in school and society. It is not at all surprising, therefore, that when white parents organise their own matric ball white students show up...

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