NEWS
31/01/2018 12:16 SAST | Updated 31/01/2018 12:17 SAST

Protests To Continue at Hoërskool Overvaal

ANC, Sasco and "Hoërskool Overvaal transformation committee" ignore Gauteng education MEC's call to end protest and await ConCourt decision.

South African Police officers outside Hoërskool Overvaal during a protest.
AFP/Getty Images
South African Police officers outside Hoërskool Overvaal during a protest.

"Hoërskool Overvaal transformation committee" parent Tlhoriso Mofokeng told HuffPost on Wednesday that he, along with the ANC and Sasco, were planning another protest at the school.

Mofokeng said they agreed to stand down if the SGB would engage with them, but this has not materialised yet.

"We are planning a protest for Friday. We are willing to stand off if the school governing body (SGB) is willing to sit down with us, but the SGB has not been willing," he said.

This is despite Gauteng education MEC Panyaza's Lesufi's continued efforts to end the protest action outside the school. This past week, Lesufi met with all stakeholders involved – including the ANC – and they agreed there would be no impasse outside the school, rather, that they would let the law take its course.

The department has finalised its court documents to take the school to Constitutional Court.

"We resolved that all parties will be open-minded, will not interfere with the legal processes, but will continue to engage... that meeting was very fruitful," Lesufi said at a briefing on Tuesday.

"We don't have the kind of activities like the burning of tyres and people coming with guns outside the school premises," he added.

Mofokeng is one of the parents of the 55 pupils who wanted to attend the school. His child now has to attend Riverside High, which is 15km from where he lives.

He has been at the forefront of protest action against the school in the past two weeks, resulting in clashes between police and angry community members.

Mofokeng said that protesters would not resort to any violence this time.

AfriForum's Ian Cameron was not pleased about protesters going back to the school.

"I think it would be very sad, because obviously the rule of law does not mean much to them. I am not sure if we ourselves will go back, but there will definitely be support from our side regarding security," he said.

"We said at the beginning... the protest should have not happened at Overvaal – it should have happened outside the doors of Panyaza Lesufi."

Read: Gauteng Education Dept Taking Hoërskool Overvaal To ConCourt

He claimed Lesufi has not taken responsibility.

"Lesufi thus far has not taken responsibility for his utterance after the court ruling. Even though the court ruling is sub judice, we still have not seen him come forward to speak to protesters," Cameron said.

"We hear there have been conversations with some of the different stakeholders, but unfortunately last week we did not see much of a change in atmosphere when it came to the protest."

AfriForum's stance is based on the fact that Afrikaans pupils have the constitutional right to learn in their mother tongue.