NEWS
19/01/2018 15:29 SAST | Updated 19/01/2018 15:29 SAST

Sadtu Adds Fuel to Hoërskool Overvaal Fire

The South African Democratic Teachers Union has released a statement alleging police brutality and racism on the part of the school's governing body.

MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters clashed with riot police during unrest at Hoërskool Overvaal on January 17, 2017.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) is the latest body to encourage the ongoing protests at Vereeniging's Hoërskool Overvaal.

The past few days at the school have been unique in Veereniging. Security presence has been high, and protests have taken a violent turn.

Instead of normal break times, pupils have been seen peeking from their classroom balconies at what was happening outside.

This, as protesters continue to chant, sing and burn tyres outside the school.

The racial conflict outside the school has been going on since Wednesday, following the ruling that 55 English-speaking black children not be allowed to attend the school because it lacks the capacity.

However, many community members who believe the school is racist and does not want to accept the pupils because they are black.

Every day, children who are registered at the school have had to be fetched from inside the school premises by their parents.

Parents have also camped outside the school in an attempt to ensure the safety of their children.

Sadtu condemns 'brutal attack' on demonstrators

Sadtu has poured oil on the fire by claiming the protests were "justified" following the "disappointing" court judgment that thwarted the Gauteng department of education's attempt to force the 55 grade 8 learners into the school.

In a statement, the union also condemned "the brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators".

"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 statement said.

According to Sadtu, the school has 21 classrooms, four of which are not used for teaching and learning.

"This is a public school [that] must serve the needs of the immediate community, which is largely a black community," Sadtu claimed.

The union believes the fact that that the Hoërskool Overvaal school governing body (SGB) is 100 percent white is evidence that the SGB 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."

Sadtu also pledged its support to the Gauteng education department in its appeal against what they call an "anti-transformation court judgment".

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