Brackenfell High row: Schafer will not distribute education dept's report

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Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer. (Photo: Deon Raath)
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer. (Photo: Deon Raath)
  • Education MEC Debbie Schafer will not be disseminating the department's report into Brackenfell High and the contentious private event attended by only white pupils.
  • This is to "protect third party, confidential or sensitive information contained in the document", she said.
  • According to Schafer, the probe found that pupils had not been excluded from attending on the basis of race.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer will not be disseminating the report related to the provincial department's investigation into allegations of a party attended by only white pupils from Brackenfell High.

Her spokesperson, Kerry Mauchline, said Schafer decided to release the details in a statement, "given the need to clarify the facts in this matter and the many inaccuracies that were disseminated regarding this event".

"The report itself isn't being distributed, given the need to protect third party, confidential or sensitive information contained in the document," she said after News24 requested a copy.

Schafer this week, in a statement, reported that the probe had found that the event was a privately organised matric farewell attended by Brackenfell High School pupils and that pupils had not been excluded from attending on the basis of race.

She said the invitation had not referenced the school and the party - which cost R500 a ticket - had been hosted at a private venue after the cancellation of the official farewell.

A media provider, which the school also uses, uploaded images to the school's website "in error".

READ | Brackenfell High: Education dept finds no evidence 'private party' excluded pupils on basis of race

"It specified that it was limited to 100 people, after [representatives of] the venue advised that they could increase the number of attendees from 50 to 100 as a result of the relaxation of Covid regulations."

Schäfer said the invitation was widely circulated via WhatsApp groups and that the parent who organised the event asked class representatives to circulate it to their class WhatsApp groups. The principal confirmed that this was done.

One hundred people could attend, Schafer said. The invitation was posted on the organiser's Facebook page and was open to people outside of the school. In the end, 42 Brackenfell High School pupils attended, with 30 from other surrounding schools.

Four teachers were invited in their personal capacities because they had "close personal links" to the organising parent and while the school was aware that the event was happening, it was regarded as a private event, Schafer said.

The report acknowledged that the incident highlighted other instances of racial tensions at the school, which the school "has freely acknowledged", Schäfer said.

In order to address these, the school, among others, committed to forming a "diversity committee" in June, after allegations of racist behaviour by some individuals.

Meanwhile, Judge Siraj Desai was expected to deliver his judgment on 22 December in an interdict application brought by the school governing body (SGB) against the EFF protesting outside the school's grounds.

This, following multiple protests near the school's premises over the past few weeks that ended in violence.

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