I'm not targeting Afrikaans - Gauteng education MEC

2015-10-19 17:09
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Johannesburg - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says he is not targeting Afrikaans.

Lesufi was speaking at a briefing in Johannesburg on Monday after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) found on Friday that school governing bodies do not have absolute authority over the feeder zones in the province.

The SCA also ruled that school governing bodies do not have the final word on whether a school could turn a child away.

Judge Nambithi Dambuza said in terms of the law, admission policies set by school governing bodies was not absolute and the education department exercised ultimate control.

Earlier this year, the Federation of School Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) applied for an urgent application in the High Court in Johannesburg to halt the department's centralised admissions process for 2016 and its plan to convert single-medium schools to parallel-medium schools.

Fedsas is now considering taking the matter to the Constitutional Court.

Lesufi said the department was prepared to contest the matter in the Constitutional Court because it wanted a final resolution on the matter.

‘Non-racialism non-negotiable’

"The sooner those that want to hide behind the broomstick of language... realise that this country belongs to all of us, the better," he said.

"I'm not targeting Afrikaans, I've appointed an Afrikaner," he said, referring to the department's new chief financial officer.

Lesufi said his own child attended an Afrikaans school, but he himself did not always understand the messages the school sent out.

"I get messages in Afrikaans about parent meetings and I can't follow what they are saying."

Non-racialism was a non-negotiable in the education sector, he said.

"I'm not apologetic that my mission is to reverse everything to do with apartheid.

"We are doing this because we believe schools belong to all our children. They deserve to play together," he said.

"We must share poverty. Poverty must not be shared by the poor. We must share privilege."

Lesufi said he hated the tendency of some parents to remove their children from schools when black Africans started to attend.

"We will regulate even the private schools. You can't say you believe in non-racialism and reconciliation... but you are scared of Mandela's children."

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  education

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