Unrest erupted earlier today when protesting members of Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) were denied access to Brackenfell High School by SAPS and law enforcement officers.
Furious PAC members, who had planned to show up announced at Brackenfell High, met with resistance from police officers who cordoned off several roads leading to the school, resulting in an awkward stand-off between the two groupings.
PAC spokesperson Lindokuhle Matiwe said the organisation was staging the protest in support of the EFF members who were attacked in the community last Monday, when they attempted to peacefully protest against racism at Brackenfell High.
Matiwe said “For us this isn’t just about what goes on at the school, but the treatment of our fellow brothers when they spoke up against it. They were violently assaulted for standing up for their children by arrogant white people from Brackenfell.
“We came here to tell them that Azania is our land and they can never tell us that we’re not welcome here. White people cannot continue to act as if we’re still under apartheid laws. We have a right to protest and call out racism”.
The group, which had met at Brackenfell train station, proceeded to walk in the direction of Brackenfell High despite resistance from police and law enforcement, most of whom drove ahead and cordoned the road leading to the school.
Despite warnings to disperse, protesting PAC members continued their protest march, leading to chaos when SAPS subsequently threw several stun grenades into the protesting crowd.
While retreating from the chaotic scene, PAC logistics officer Masixole Mlandu said the organisation had decided to retreat and regroup as they were outnumbered by law enforcement.
Mlandu said “We decided to retreat because we were clearly outnumbered by state officers, and I believe that’s because of the community we’re currently in Brackenfell.
’’However, as we go back home we will restrategise and return on Friday. This protest was in support of our EFF comrades, of which it is our rights as citizens to call out injustices as we them”.
Andre Traut, police spokesperson said that police are investigating circumstances surrounding an offence in terms of the Gatherings Act and Public Violence are under investigation following the illegal protest in Brackenfell this morning.
Traut said “Public Order Policing members were deployed in the area to maintain law and order and were forced to take action when the situation became volatile. The crowd was eventually dispersed and no arrests have been made as yet.
“The situation in the area is still being monitored, and our forces will remain in the area until we are satisfied that tranquillity has been restored.”
The group, which had originally planned to march to Brackenfell police station to lay charges against residents who attacked EFF protesters before continuing to the high school, resigned their attempt to protest today. However, they are vowing to return in numbers on Friday morning.