Minister Confirms No Racism Detected At Brackenfell High Function

Debbie Schäfer, the Minister of Education Western Cape, has confirmed that the alleged whites-only Brackenfell High event was a private function organised by parents and that no exclusions based on race were made.

Debbie Schäfer, the Minister of Education Western Cape, has confirmed that the alleged whites-only Brackenfell High event was a private function organised by parents and that no exclusions based on race were made.

The evidence is thus that invitations were circulated to all matric classes.  There is no evidence that people were excluded based on their race.

Schäfer received a report from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) which set a few things straight concerning the racism saga concerning an allegedly whites-only event at Brackenfell High School.

 I have seen the invitation, and there is no reference to the school at all.

The function was organised by a parent who was disappointed that school events were cancelled. Due to this, permission was not needed from the principal or the school governing body. The event was then arranged at a private venue on a wine farm on 17 October 2020 and tickets cost R500 each.

The invitation is then said to have been sent widely through WhatsApp groups as well as Facebook. 42 learners from Brackenfell High School and 30 from other surrounding schools attended the event. Four teachers were invited as well as they were linked with organising the event. 

Allegations of exclusions from a WhatsApp group is explained through a separate WhatsApp group was started for those who had said that they's be coming to the function.

On allegations that the Head Girl was not at the function because of her race were also set straight. Schäfer explains, "According to the report, both the Head Girl and Head Boy were invited, but did not attend, as they had other plans on that day and were organising their own farewell functions."

When the backlash erupted regarding this event, many were demanding that the teachers along with the principal should be fired. However, the WCED has said that there are no ground to take action against teachers who went to the event.

Even after all this evidence and conclusions were made, the Department still acknowledged that there are racial tensions at the school and that Brackenfell High School has acknowledged it as well and have taken action to address it. 

"The WCED remains committed to inclusivity and a celebration of diversity.  We are also concerned, though, that people use events to mobilise racial tensions without ascertaining the facts.  This is a dangerous practice that is more likely to exacerbate racial tensions than break down barriers."

Read the full statement from the Western Cape Education Department here.

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