AS IT HAPPENED: Petrol bomb thrown, police react with rubber bullets at #HoërskoolOvervaal protest

2018-01-18 09:19

A crowd of protesters has gathered outside Hoërskool Overvaal to express their anger at the exclusion of learners from the Afrikaans medium school.

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Last Updated at 11:27
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They petrol bombed a police van now. Protesters arrested

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Afrikaans, racism and education – it's time to talk

"Use live rounds. It's the only thing those stupid savages understand," writes Ivan Scott on Twitter in reaction to a News24 post showing a bloodied black man being treated for his rubber-bullet wounds after police fired shots outside Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging.

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WATCH: Police and protester's stand off

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Sadtu statement: Sadtu Gauteng condemns racism at Hoërskool Overvaal

SADTU Gauteng condemns the brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators at Hoerskool Overvaal in Vereeniging. This justified demonstration follows a disappointing court judgement on Gauteng Department of Education's to place 55 grade 8 learners. The assertion of lack of capacity to accommodate these learners is used to block transformation and keep the school as the sole preserve for White Afrikaners.

The GDE started negotiations with the School Governing Body (SGB) in 2015 and suggested that 2018 be the year of commencement of dual medium of instruction.  The school has 21 classrooms,4 of which are not used for teaching and learning.  The school had 610 learners in 2017.The 55 grade 8 learners could have been easily accommodated in 2018.

This school has 22 state employed and 6 SGB employed educators all of whom are White. Clearly, the so called lack of capacity is nonsensical.

This is a public school which must serve the needs of the immediate community which is largely a Black community. The two primary schools in the area are English medium schools.  Community members around Overvaal Hoerskool are forced to transport their children far from their area of residence. The school management has admitted learners who stay more than 5km away from Afrikaans medium schools in order to keep it as a single medium school.

Clearly, the Overvaal Hoerskool SGB which is 100% White is pursuing a racist agenda supported by minority racist political parties.

We condemn racism and we shall mount a campaign to transform the school together with progressive structures.  We shall not flinch in our resolve to ensure that "The Doors of Learning Shall be open to All".

We support the GDE's resolve to appeal this anti transformation court judgement.  We trust that a different court shall arrive at a different order which is consistent with the Constitution of our country. - Tseliso Ledimo - Provincial Secretary

18 Jan 13:17

DA Statement: MEC Lesufi must intervene immediately in Hoërskool Overvaal crisis

The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemns the  violent protests that have now entered their second day outside Hoërskool Overvaal and calls on protestors to respect both the High Court ruling, as well as the appeal process initiated by Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi.

South Africa is a Constitutional Democracy where the rule of law must be observed and upheld. While people have the right to protest, it should not be at the expense of the right of learners to receive an education.

MEC Lesufi must be held accountable for the fiasco that has unfolded outside this place of learning, because while despite trying to address imbalances in the education system, both he and his department were aware of at least three other schools in the area that could accommodate the 55 unplaced learners.

This was reaffirmed by  High Court Judge Prinsloo who presided on the matter.

Instead of addressing the numerous challenges facing the educational sector in the province, the MEC has fanned the flames of racial division and incited anger in communities.

MEC Lesufi must go to Hoërskool Overvaal and quell the situation before it takes a nasty turn. He initiated this process, now he must take control of it.

We call on the department to engage with the school in order to find common ground. If the school has capacity to accommodate the learners, the department must commit the necessary resources and learners must be placed. Integration at schools is important and it should be planned in a manner that does not compromise learning. Where schools are requested to accommodate learners, those schools must be capacitated to do so.

Language must never be used to divide but must rather be used to build our diversity.

The DA urges all involved in the protests to respect the rule of law and await the decision of the courts. - John Moodey MPL DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

18 Jan 13:04
Overvaal Transformation Committee wants Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to intervene in the Hoërskool Overvaal violence after police shot at demonstrators

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We asked the police to act within the Constitutional and legal limits and not to use excessive force - Advocate André Gaum of the Human Rights Commission  

We also met with the principal of the school

18 Jan 12:14
We interacted with the demonstrators.   We asked the demonstrators not to deny the learners the right to basic education - Advocate André Gaum of the Human Rights Commission

18 Jan 12:14
We visited the school this morning. The purpose was we were concerned about what happened yesterday - Advocate André Gaum of the Human Rights Commission

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WATCH: Protester outside Hoërskool Overvaal barricade road leading to school
[11:17, 1/18/2018] +27 78 212 4567:

18 Jan 11:15

18 Jan 11:14

'I call on all boere to come in their masses to Hoërskool Overvaal' - voice note goes viral as protesters gather

As protesters gathered outside Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging on Thursday, a voice note has called on all "boere" to come in their masses to protect children at the school.

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Some parents have arrived to fetch their children from Hoërskool Overvaal

18 Jan 11:02
Government vehicle has arrived at Hoërskool Overvaal

18 Jan 11:01
Protesters are demanding to meet with the principal of Hoërskool Overvaal

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AfriForum statement: AfriForum places EFF on terms over hate speech  

The civil rights organisation AfriForum considers laying a complaint of hate speech against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) after EFF protesters yesterday chanted the phrases "White man, you must die", "Shoot to kill the Boere" and several other racist and inciting remarks during a protest at Hoërskool Overvaal.  

AfriForum's legal team will today serve a lawyer's letter on the leadership of the EFF in which the party is asked to explain their stance on this incident.  

"If these actions do not comply with EFF policies, we demand that the party distances itself unconditionally and institutes disciplinary action," says Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum.  

"If the party is however unwilling to do this, AfriForum will lay a complaint of hate speech against the party in terms of the Equality Act." - Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO

18 Jan 10:50

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