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Contributor: Anonymous
RACIAL CONFLICT SHUTS SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOL


Provincial Education Minister Zacharia Tolo has temporarily closed a high school in the rural Vryburg township of Huhudi following the inability of a negotiating team to quell weeks of racial confrontation at the school. The team, sent by parliament, had met with school officials, parent and student groups as well as police and government officials. Following the closure, students stoned an armed police vehicle as it drove past the Town Hall where Huhudi residents were discussing the matter.
A few weeks earlier (in March), more than 100 Black students were arrested for organising a demonstration outside the school. Police declared the demonstration illegal and arrested them, but they walked out of the police station during an argument between Black and White police officers about who would charge them. Some female students complained that they were manhandled and assaulted by police but have not yet made any formal charges.
For more than two weeks since racial conflict erupted at Vryburg High School in the north west province, it has resembled a military camp more than a school. Police officers patrol the grounds and guard Black children from the furious parents of White children. By the middle of March, Black students who had classes in the English language were being separated during school breaks from mostly white students in Afrikaans language classes.
Two years ago, the Afrikaans-language Vryburg high school was compelled by the provincial government to accept Black students and to teach them in English. The school adopted a dual-language policy, essentially dividing students along racial as well as language lines.
 
 
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