'At Hoërskool Overvaal we don't see race'

2018-01-19 16:51
Pierre Ronquest praying for community members. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Pierre Ronquest praying for community members. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – "We don't see race at Hoërskool Overvaal, we see them as learners and they see each other as friends," said Pierre Ronquest of New Found Generation, a non-profit organisation that has been offering life coaching and skills to pupils at the school following protests around admissions. 

"It's a thing that we wanted from the start, that there would be unity. They should look each other in the eye and not see race or colour, but see friends," Ronquest said. 

Ronquest was speaking at the main gates of the high school. 

OPINION: The Constitution on trial: Hoërskool Overvaal

He said the safety of pupils was of utmost importance. 

"We help the kids to go through the trauma, because it is a traumatic event for them to come here and see people burning things and throwing things around. They are not used to it."

Earlier, Ronquest prayed for community members and urged them to remain calm and act out of love. 

27 arrested

A group of at least twenty protesters sang outside the school gates on Friday as police remained on high alert. 

On Thursday, protesters threw a petrol bomb at a police van. The group fled the scene but were soon arrested by police officers.

At least 27 protesters were arrested and are expected to appear in the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court on Friday afternoon. 

OPINION: Panyaza Lesufi: Language used as a 'false shield' for exclusion

They face charges of public violence and contravention of the Explosives Act.

Police arrested ten protesters on Wednesday, eight of whom received bail on the same day.

Two were denied bail.  

"The one who was found in possession of a firearm was denied bail, because he had other convictions. Both were however granted bail on Thursday," Dlamini said. 

Call for court's order to be respected

The protest was sparked by a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that set aside the decision by the Gauteng department of education to admit 55 learners, to be taught in English, into Hoërskool Overvaal, an Afrikaans medium school.

Judge Bill Prinsloo found in favour of Hoërskool Overvaal in that the school does not have the capacity to admit the additional learners. 

READ: South Africans react to #Overvaal fallout: 'It's time to knuckle down'

On Friday afternoon, school governing body chairperson Hardus Visagie told journalists they had gone to great lengths to make all relevant information available in their founding and answering affidavits on this matter. 

"There were extensive arguments and counter arguments between state advocate and council. All of these are on record and available to the public. There is nothing more to add than what was submitted in court," Visagie said. 

He urged all parties to respect the court order. 

"There is an appeal process to follow if you are not happy with the court order."

Read more on:    hoërskool overvaal  |  racism

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.