Sat. May 25th, 2019

Protester killed as tensions run high at Cape Town primary school

Both the victim and the perpetrator are understood to have been among the 13 protesters that gathered outside of West Bank no 1 Primary in Cape Town barring entry to the school.

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A protest outside of West Bank no 1 Primary in Cape Town ended in tragedy after tensions between protesters and parents of learners at the school boiled over.

According to a statement issued by Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Minister of Education Western Cape, The death was the result of one of the protesters driving a car into a crowd of people.

13 people mostly members of the School Governing Body (SGB) blockaded entrances to the school with chains, locks and their cars according to the statement issued by the provincial ministry.

Parents then became irate and began rocking the cars, prompting one of the protesters to enter the vehicle and drive it into a crowd of people.

“Yesterday, 13 protestors took part in a demonstration outside of West Bank no 1 Primary in Cape Town, some of which are part of the SGB. All entry points were chained and locked and both learners and educators could not access the school,” reads the WECD statement.

“Their grievances allegedly included the fact that the principal would not replace the current NSNP staff – and instead referring them to the appointment process of the NSNP in terms of policy. In addition, the parents want a Grade R isiXhosa Class to start at the school. This could also not be accommodated, as the school has not, over the past 5 years received a request for an isiXhosa Grade R class until now.”

The South African Police Service (SAPS) were called to the school before the alleged vehicular manslaughter took place in the hopes they could disperse the crowd. The driver of the vehicle was arrested on the scene, it is unclear what charges they will face.

“Various attempts were made to peacefully remove the protestors from blocking the school entrances. SAPS were called in.

“Parents began getting frustrated at the fact that their children were being denied access to the school and started rocking the cars that were blocking the entrances. One of the cars belonged to one of the protesting SGB members. The member got into the car and allegedly drove into the crowd which resulted in two of the protestors being knocked over. They were both rushed to hospital. Unfortunately, one of the original protestors, a previous employee of the NSNP, reportedly succumbed to her injuries.

“The driver was arrested.

“It is deeply disturbing how the incident escalated to a point that someone lost their life.

“Grievances should be dealt with in a way that is cordial – and should not result in denying learners their right to education nor the loss of a human life.”

The WCED is say they are monitoring the situation closely.

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