Activists slam Zille's Motshekga defence

2013-07-25 10:42
Helen Zille (Picture: AFP)

Helen Zille (Picture: AFP)

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Zille defends Motshekga

2013-07-22 08:12

The leader of the Democratic Alliance says Angie Motshekga is being unfairly criticised. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - Equal Education slammed Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Thursday for her article defending Education Minister Angie Motshekga, saying she had made "factual errors".

In the article, "Zille goes in to bat for Motshekga" published on the Cape Argus website on Saturday, Zille said Motshekga might be a "hate target", but she had fulfilled her constitutional responsibilities better than her predecessors.

"She actually understands conditions in the average disadvantaged classroom. As a result she is trying to develop 'norms, standards, policies and frameworks' that take account of reality. That on its own, is a giant leap forward for education," Zille wrote.

However, EE chairperson Yoliswa Dwane said Zille's article was "misleading and riddled with errors".

"Zille suggests more than once that norms and standards [for school infrastructure] may be 'unachievable', 'unaffordable' and 'impractical'," Dwane said in a statement.

"These claims are undermined by the concurrence given by the minister of finance, as well as the support for norms and standards in the National Development Plan, and from the Auditor General and fiscal and finance commission."

Norms and standards

She said Zille's comment that the norms and standards required "tortuous public-participation processes" was not the reality.

Dwane claimed there was no public participation process after the publication of draft norms and standards in January.

"The only body that involved the public was Equal Education, which held public hearings in five provinces and collected 700 submissions which were distilled into two," she said.

"Motshekga had 11 weeks from the submission closing date until the 15 June deadline, but she made no effort to use the public’s input to fix and finalise the norms and standards," she claimed.

EE took Motshekga to court in July, claiming she had breached an agreement reached in November 2012 to publish the final document by 15 May, or by the extended deadline of 15 June.

The East London High Court ordered that she promulgate the norms and standards by 30 November.

In her article, Zille wrote that Motshekga had "erred in believing that it would be possible to cut through the red-tape jungle by 15 June", and that she should not have supported the "unrealistic deadline" and agreed to it becoming a court order, said Dwane.

However, Dwane said the 15 June deadline was realistic and pointed out that it had not been an order of court.
Read more on:    equal education  |  helen zille  |  angie motshekga  |  education

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