- President Cyril Ramaphosa has weighed in on the Brackenfell High School saga
- The nation's leader has described the violence that took place on Monday as deeply regrettable
- Ramaphosa urged all parties involved to act responsibly after a protest escalated into chaos
President Cyril Ramaphosa himself has commented on the controversial Brackenfell High School ordeal.
In a statement issued by the Presidency on Tuesday, Ramaphosa described the incident as deeply regrettable and called on all involved to 'act responsibly':
“At this most important and difficult time for matriculants not only at Brackenfell High School but around the country, the spectacle of parents and protestors coming to blows at the school gate is deeply unfortunate."
The President defended the EFF's involvement by pointing out that citizens have the right to engage in peaceful protest:
“It is the right of every South African to engage in peaceful protest, and any actions to suppress the right to freedom of expression, particularly through violence and intimidation, must be roundly condemned."
Ramaphosa says the violence on Monday reminded the nation of a time before democracy:
“What happened today brings back hurtful memories of a past we should never seek to return to."
As for the matric party that sparked the controversy, Ramaphosa called for citizens to be mindful of their actions:
“We should be ever mindful of the extent to which our actions, both publicly and in private, undermine the cherished principle of non-racialism upon which our democracy was founded."
The incident prompted Ramaphosa to warn against using the situation to racially polarise the nation:
“We should not allow what has transpired at Brackenfell High School to be used by any groupings who want to cause racial polarisation."
In addition to this, Ramaphosa also called for the event at the core of the drama to be investigated urgently.
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has slammed the violence seen outside of Brackenfell High School as unacceptable on Monday.
As for the party that sparked the controversy and in turn the protest, Schäfer commented that:
“Whatever one’s views may be, the fact is that the event in question was privately organised, at a private venue, by private individuals. The school had nothing to do with the organisation or management of that event. It was not supported, funded or endorsed by the school in any way. The school did not hold a matric ball this year owing to Covid-19 concerns."
Schäfer confirmed that no action will be taken against the teachers who had attended the event:
“The [department] cannot and will not take action against educators who were invited as guests and attended a private event, which they did not organise, and had no prior knowledge of the attendees."
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