ANC’s school T-shirt tantrum

2013-11-06 00:00

THE ANC in the province has lashed out at a leading Durban school after pupils apparently produced a range of T-shirts depicting unflattering images of President Jacob Zuma and other leading party members.

Provincial ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said the party was tipped off by a member of the public about the T-shirts, which were displayed at a mall by Westville Boys’ High.

“We were shocked when we saw these T-shirts bearing faces of President Jacob Zuma, President Nelson Mandela and ANC NEC member and former Police Commissioner Bheki Cele with derogatory captions,” said Mkhize.

“We view this as an attack on the ANC and on the country since the South African flag featured in the background,” complained Mkhize.

Displayed at the Westville Village Market mall, a member of the public yesterday afternoon alerted the ANC, who contacted mall management.

“We call on the management of the school to investigate this incident and make sure that people who were behind the design of these T-shirts are sanctioned. The ANC has fought bitterly to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country where we can all live together in harmony.”

Westville Boys’ High School headmaster Trevor Hall said the school is committed to a non-racial democratic South Africa. “We give the greatest respect to the Constitution, and the rights enshrined therein resonate within the learning environment that we facilitate.”

He said he noted that the artwork of “some learners, in the form of printed T-shirts on display, has caused offence to a political party”.

“The three artworks in question were created by free-thinking learners as part of their art portfolios for examination.

“The Visual Art syllabus includes a section on social and political commentary. Learners wishing to explore this section have, for many years, made art expressive of a wide range of opinions. No particular political or social bias is encouraged. Pupils are free to make their own commentary on society, as is their right.”

Hall stressed the display of the T-shirts was not intended to offend in any way and “we apologise to the extent that any offence was caused”.

The items were part of a static display and were not for sale, nor were they being worn by anyone. They were removed as soon as a complaint was received, Hall said.

Professor Herman Wasserman of Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies said: “Children must be allowed the freedom to give criticism on what they see around them, and to give political commentary.

“Our country has a history of pupils taking a political stance, who did not waiver in their belief. We would expect from our teachers and pupils to create a context to help explain the complexities of our country.”

Mkhize labelled the art project an act bordering on racism. “This is akin to insulting the leadership of the ANC and nullifying all the good work our movement, working with peace-loving South Africans, have done in making sure that racism is buried in this country,” he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.