Cape Town – Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has said that the conflict at Brackenfell High School reflects the failure of society to root out racism among children.
Archbishop Makgoba of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa released a statement on Sunday morning addressing the recent conflict.
Protesting EFF members recently gave Brackenfell High School seven days to mete out punishment to “racist” staff and SGB members.
This follows the EFF’s protest against alleged racism at the school after reports of a whites-only matric masquerade ball last month.
A previous protest by the EFF ended in a violent clash with residents who attacked party members.
Makgoba said the fear and tension which Brackenfell High School learners are unfairly being subjected is “a wake-up call to every parent and governing body in South Africa”.
“The conflict at the school reflects the failure of society, and particularly of parents and teachers, to root out racism among our children. If parents and teachers fail to heed the warning which Brackenfell sends, their children are in danger of being exposed to similar confrontations in future.
“A quarter of a century after our political liberation, it is unacceptable that children still openly make judgements about other children based on their race, let alone use crude and hurtful racial epithets,” Makgoba said.
“It is even more unacceptable that the parents of such children bring them up to think there is nothing wrong with racial stereotyping. And it is unacceptable that parents organise “private” parties to which admission in a community such as Brackenfell is restricted by affordability.”
Makgoba lashed out at how leaders of political parties and government agencies seemingly disagreeing on conditions for peaceful protesting.
“Nearly 30 years after the structures of the National Peace Accord negotiated a framework for the holding of protests, it is unacceptable that leaders of political organisations and government agencies do not appear able to agree on conditions which allow for peaceful, controlled protest which respects the rights of others and the well-being of children.
“Dialogue is not an optional extra in South Africa, but an urgent imperative if we are to move into a non-racial future,” he said.
Speaking at the EFF protest on Friday afternoon, EFF secretary general Marshall Dlamini said that the organisation would not back down should nothing be done about racism at the school.
Dlamini said: “We came here to demonstrate that we will not tolerate racism in this country. Last week Monday a number of residents from this community masqueraded as parents of Brackenfell High learners and violently assaulted our members who were protesting peacefully.
’’We are here to tell racist people that we will not tolerate such in South Africa.”