The South African Teachers Union (SAOU) filed a complaint of hate speech and racism at the Human Rights Commission (MRC) after a Facebook entry saying: “Please Zuma give us the guns to defend our democracy ‘one bullet, one Boerekind. “
According to the SAOU’s statement, the statement was made by one of the people who participated in the protests at the Overvaal High School in Vereeniging.
Meanwhile, pupils from neighboring schools joined a mass protest at Overvaal on Thursday morning during school hours.
The march continued despite the minister of basic education, Angie Motshekga’s ban on protests at the specific school because it violates children’s rights.
Overvaal was closed on Thursday after Motshekga said she was worried about the pupils’ safety and gave permission for the school to close, said Chris Klopper of the South African Teachers Union (SAOU) earlier.
However, it did not prevent hundreds of protesters from Cosas, Sadou, ANC, MK veterans, Popcru and BLF, under the guidance of Cosatu, to go to the school to support “open doors for education for all” from Mahareng Secondary School and Lekoa Shandu Secondary School in Vanderbijlpark.
Some children were exhausted from the heat hungry and thirsty as they sat on the sidewalks, while others drove along with Cosas.
A primary pupil and her friends called a journalist aside and asked in English: “Tannie, are they going to shoot us?” Others were begging for a sip of water.
According to Tseliso Ledimo, chief secretary of Sadou in Gauteng, all stakeholders have combined their resources to get the children to participate in this protest action.
Dr. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, said in a statement: “The abuse of pupils from nearby schools to participate in the march is unacceptable as it creates racial activity among a generation of young people in a dispensation where apartheid no longer exist. ”
The SAOU says the situation has deteriorated further into “a political playing field”.
“This turmoil has had a direct and negative effect on learners, not only at Overvaal High School, but on all pupils in the area. Current disruptive actions violently violate the constitutional rights of the pupils forced by their teachers to participate. ”
Klopper says the union is filing a complaint with the Public Protector (OB) “against educators who participate in these so called protest actions . They are neglecting their duty as educators and exploiting unauthorized leave” and will also refer the fact that they are taking advantage of the pupils by encouraging them to participate in these protest action events.
Lesufi spokesperson Steve Mabona said the Gauteng department was disappointed with the disruption of tuition.
Elijah Mhlanga, Deputy Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga, says the department’s regional office is doing a survey of teachers who are not at their respective schools because they attend protest marches.
“Those who stay away from the schools must be disciplined.”
Mhlanga could not be reached for comment on the children’s participation in the march on Thursday afternoon.
Senior lawyer of the MRC also visited the school on Thursday morning.
Matthew du Plessis, senior legal representative, said the commission found that Overvaal was closed on Thursday and that they were very concerned about their impact on children and their right to basic education.
“We came to school to monitor the situation. We will meet with school management and AfriForum management to talk about what is going on and the way forward. ”
The MRC was unaware of the other schools’ children who spoke in school hours and intended to investigate.
The protesters handed a memorandum to the school and Gauteng department of education. Deputy Director General, Vuyani Mpofu, received the memorandum on behalf of Lesufi, and Hardus Visagie, Chairman of the Board of Directors, on behalf of Overvaal.
According to the memorandum, Overvaal High School must allow the 55 English pupils before the next Thursday and give them the opportunity to have a class in English, otherwise the demonstrators will disrupt the school again next Friday.
In addition, the Gauteng Department of Education has to take a survey of schools, such as Overvaal, so that they can handle the “problem” there, which shouted the crowd “amandla!”
* Attempts and violence broke out at school last week after the Pretoria High Court ruled that the school does not have to include 55 additional (English) pupils.