Cape Town – Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said the conflict at Brackenfell High School reflects society’s failure to eradicate racism among children.
Archbishop Makgoba of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa issued a statement on the recent conflict on Sunday morning.
Protesting EFF members recently gave Brackenfell High School seven days to punish “racist” staff and SGB members.
This follows EFF’s protest against alleged racism at school after reports of a white-only matrix masked ball last month.
A previous EFF protest ended with a violent clash with locals who attacked party members.
Makgoba said the fear and tension that Brackenfell high school students are unfairly subjected to is “a wake-up call to all parents and all governing bodies in South Africa”.
“The conflict at school reflects the failure of society, and in particular of parents and teachers, to eradicate racism among our children. If parents and teachers ignore the warning sent by Brackenfell, their children are at risk of similar clashes in the future.
“A quarter of a century after our political liberation, it is unacceptable that children continue to openly judge other children on the basis of their race, let alone use rude and offensive racial epithets,” Makgoba said.
“It is even more unacceptable that the parents of these children raise them thinking that there is nothing wrong with racial stereotypes. And it is unacceptable for parents to organize “private” parties where admission to a community like Brackenfell is limited by affordability.
Makgoba criticized how the leaders of political parties and government agencies apparently disagreed over the terms of a peaceful protest.
“Almost 30 years after the structures of the National Peace Accord negotiated a framework for holding protests, it is unacceptable that the leaders of political organizations and government agencies do not seem able to agree on conditions for a peaceful and controlled demonstration which respects the rights of others and the well-being of children.
“Dialogue is not an additional option in South Africa, but an urgent imperative if we are to move towards a non-racial future,” he said.
Speaking at the EFF protest on Friday afternoon, EFF Secretary General Marshall Dlamini said the organization would not back down if nothing was done against racism in schools.
Dlamini said: “We have come here to demonstrate that we will not tolerate racism in this country. Last week on Monday, a number of residents of this community posed as parents of Brackenfell High learners and violently assaulted our members who were protesting peacefully.
“We are here to tell the racists that we will not tolerate such a thing in South Africa.”