The FW de Klerk Foundation is deeply concerned about the situation that is developing at Brackenfell High School in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. The EFF has announced its intention to hold a major demonstration outside the high school tomorrow – Friday 20 November – where students are busy writing their matric exams. There is a possibility that members of the local community might once again gather at the school at the same time in their efforts to ‘defend’ the school.

The cause of the EFF’s ‘outrage’ has nothing to do with the school. It arises from the fact that black and coloured students may – or may – not have been invited to a private party that matrics and their parents arranged after the school’s official matric ball was cancelled because of COVID-19.

The Brackenfell School Governing Body has, in the meantime, announced a range of measures to deal with the allegations of some students regarding racism at the school.

Yesterday, in an effort to compete against the EFF for radical support, the PAC held its own demonstration outside the school which was quickly broken up by the police. A PAC spokesman said that they had come to the school to confront racist “settlers”. In a TV interview he defended the PAC’s use of the “one settler, one bullet” slogan.

What we have here is radical parties that are intent on consciously sweeping up racial confrontation by seizing on minor racial insensitivities that may, or may not, have occurred in the Brackenfell community. In the process these parties are adopting extremely provocative racial attitudes and language.

South Africa simply cannot afford this.

The Foundation calls on President Ramaphosa and Premier Winde to call for calm and to ensure the maintenance of law and order. We also ask them, our churches and the Human Rights Commission to condemn racist actions and statements from all sides in an evenhanded manner.


Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
19 November 2020