Ministers' choice of school a right: Govt

By Drum Digital
20 September 2013

Where the children of Cabinet members attend school does not concern the public, government said on Friday.

"[We have] yet again received media enquiries on the education institutions that are attended by ministers' and deputy ministers' children, and [government] reiterates that this is a private matter, and not a public matter," acting spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.

"Whether the leaders of this country, or even public servants, choose to send their children to public or private schools, it is their choice. They are exercising their democratic right of choice," she said.

The response was prompted by recent questions directed to President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, ministers, and their deputies.

On September 1, the City Press reported that the top elected leaders told it to "get lost" when asked if their children attended state or private schools.

The publication justified the questions saying knowing where the country's leaders educated their children indicated their confidence in the system they were custodians of.

Williams maintained that ministers had the right to privacy and responding to those questions could be a security risk.

"The Constitution also states that a child's best interests is of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child, and in this regard the information requested may also impact on the security, safety, and well-being of the children," she said.

-by Sapa

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