Fiery protests outside the Hoerskool Overvaal are expected to enter their third day as Afrikaans activists have now begun joining the fray following violence Thursday.
EFF protesters gathered outside the school on Wednesday to protest the alleged exclusion of 55 English speaking pupils by the school after it won a case in the Gauteng High Court against the Department of Education to choose who it would admit into its classes.
By Thursday police had formed a human barricade, along with private security, around the school to protect the children entering and went on to arrest 27 people after a few petrol bombs were thrown at their vehicles.
Calls from the office of the Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, have urged protesters to moderate their tone and actions saying that first and foremost should be the safety of the children.
Protests are expected to resume this morning, with protesters affiliated to the African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Congress of South African Students (Cosas) are expected to be leading the demonstrations.
It’s unclear how big a group we can expect today after 10 protesters who were arrested on Wednesday and later released on bail were instructed not to return to the demonstrations.
Protester Tlhoriso Mofokeng says that they are not deterred by the most recent arrests on Thursday.
“The plan is to continue with our demonstrations. We’re open for further engagement, as long as the engagement is going allow our children to access the school.”
Meanwhile, a group of Afrikaans activists have gathered outside the school they arrived here as early as 6am this morning.
They say they’re here to preserve their language.
"Afrikaans is our home language and we came to this school and we are supporting this school and we are supporting Afrikaans," one activist said.
"Afrikaans kids need Afrikaans schools to learn and they need Afrikaans schools to learn English," another activist said.
On Thursday, the Human Rights Commission visited the school to try and bring calm to the brewing racial tensions at the school.
The commission called for restraint and assured parents that their children are safe despite the ongoing protests.
The situation at the school is currently calm with parents dropping off their children outside the premises.
Schooling is expected to continue as normal at Hoërskool Overvaal.