The protestors at the march against the alleged “whites-only” party were met with tear gas by the South African police force in Cape Town.
The incident occurred following an off-site party held allegedly by the parents of a school at Cape Town, specifically for the whites, igniting fumes of racism in the Black-dominated country.
The anti-riot cops directed tear gas and water cannons at around 2,000 members rallying in the protest near the school. The protestors were reportedly part of the radical left party called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Al Jazeera reported that the police fired tears, stun grenade and made the use of water cannons to disperse the crowd and stop them from entering the school premises.
The actions of the police made the protestors break their chains, although they reemerged as groups a few blocks away from the school.
The new agency’s reporter on the ground called the protest peaceful while accusing the cops of trying brutal ways to prevent the protest. She further expressed the crowd’s anger at the police as they wouldn’t have retaliated in the same way if they were being met with white protestors instead of blacks.
The protest organizers were later allowed by the police to carry out the march to the school with only 100 people.
The protests were a part of the ongoing protests taken out in view of the alleged racist act at Brackenfell High School of Cape Town after a dance party was organized only for the whites.
The event apparently took place in a winery farm in the eastern part of Cape Town in Stellenbosch on October 17th.
As an invite, flyers for the event were shared on a Whatsapp group, made especially for the party. A local news website, IOL, reported a student saying that the flyer wasn’t sent on the regular school Whatsapp groups which clearly directed at the fact that Black students were intended to not be invited.
The school administration, however, denies its role in the act as it says the function was a privately organized one and not an official one.
“The masked ball, referred to as a matric farewell, was a private party organised by the parents of matriculants, and did not fall under the control of the school at all,” the school’s governing body wrote in a letter to parents.
The letter reported by the local news agency further read, “The function was held on a private venue and not at the school, as certain allegations claim. The governing body and staff of Brackenfell High School therefore distance themselves from any allegations that Brackenfell High School will condone or accommodate any events that are exclusively reserved for certain groups, and especially racial groups.”
Videos shared across social media platforms show a protest rally marching towards the school. The EFF members however were met with the punches and fistfights of the parents who were ready to pounce on them, a few days following the event.
The dramatic sequence of November 9th brought the attention of the President Cyril Ramaphosa as well who said the commotion was “deeply regrettable”. He also called for an investigation in the matter.
Speaking about the fight, Mr. Ramaphosa said, “The spectacle of parents and protesters coming to blows at the school gate is deeply unfortunate.” He also added that the incidents reminded of the certain “hurtful memories of the past we should never seek to return to.”
The region witnessed a similar clash prior to this incident involving racial matters.
Despite the modernization of thoughts, racism is still prevalent in parts of South Africa.