ANC wrangles over med school

2010-10-08 12:42

Julius Malema’s announcement of an African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) campaign to revert Medunsa to being an independent institution was described as opportunistic by senior ANC members, including two affected ministers.

At an impromptu media briefing held during the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) conference yesterday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said an investigation on whether to separate Medunsa from the University of Limpopo began two years ago.

Nzimande said he briefed Malema, the ANCYL president, about the processes under way when he (Malema) informed him on Wednesday that he was going to address Medunsa students.

Nzimande said he never mentioned anything about the split to Malema. The ministers said the matter was at an advanced stage. A four-person task team led by the director generals of both departments were looking into it, they said.

Motsoaledi wouldn’t comment on whether there would eventually be a split, saying the matter was with the “highest echelons of government”, the deputy president and the president. He had made recommendations to ANC headquarters Luthuli House on the matter three weeks ago, saying there was no way he could make announcements ahead of his ANC bosses.

All he was prepared to say was that the merger did not yield the kind of results that were beneficial to the country.

While Malema had said during his address to the students that since the merger in 2005, the institution saw a decline in students and academic teaching staff, both ministers refused to divulge what the problems at Medunsa were.

However, ANC general secretary, Gwede Mantashe, was not so kind to Malema during his address to the Sadtu delegates yesterday.

He not only referred to the ANCYL campaign as opportunistic, but referring to Malema, he said: “You can pick low-lying fruit and claim victory.

”Malema said: “We want to bring back that pride of Medunsa. It will come back because the Youth League says so. Any government investigation will show what we are saying. This merger is not working.”

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