Anti-ANC T-shirts a DA plot - politician

2013-11-08 10:12
One of the T-shirts created by high school students depicting images of ANC members. (The Witness)

One of the T-shirts created by high school students depicting images of ANC members. (The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - The T-shirts designed by KwaZulu-Natal pupils depicting images of ANC leaders and personalities smacked of the “DA tendency of promoting white supremacy by demonising the ANC government”.

This statement by ANC MPL Siboniso Duma in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature on Thursday caused a stir in the corridors, when Duma tabled a special motion that the education MEC should investigate the issue.

The ANC on Tuesday fumed over T-shirts bearing images of president Jacob Zuma, former president Nelson Mandela, Bheki Cele and Julius Malema.

Zuma’s image was used with the backdrop “Fakers since 1994”, while Cele, Zuma and Malema were depicted “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.

The T-Shirts were designed by visual arts students at Westville Boys’ High for their matric portfolios, and were displayed at the Westville Village Market Mall. The display was immediately removed when the ANC’s complaints were received.

DA concerns about motion

Duma’s remarks immediately prompted the DA’s Tom Stokes to stand up to raise concern about Duma’s motion, citing one of the legislature’s rules.

Before Stokes could elaborate however, deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu said he would investigate the matter. When Stokes tried to explain himself and requested to make a written submission, Mthimkhulu said: “I am still to investigate and I can’t give a comment on what you’re alleging.”

Mthimkhulu then ordered Duma to continue with his motion.

Duma continued his attack on the DA, calling them “a cancer to the society whose sole mandate is to destroy our society by promoting white supremacy and neo-liberalism”.

“Public schools must serve our interests not the opposition. An investigation by the MEC must be done,” he said.

Stokes said it was unfortunate that parliamentarians used blatant remarks to do politicking in the legislature.

He said while it was perfectly acceptable to criticise, it was unfair to those who could not defend themselves.

“I hope the speaker will have a look at his [Duma’s] statements and I am sure they [statements] are false and he has no ground to make them,” Stokes said.

Mthimkhulu told The Witness he had not made a ruling on Stokes’s concern, pending his investigation.

However, school principal Trevor Hall was quoted as saying the visual art syllabus includes a section on social and political commentary.

Hall also said no particular political or social bias was encouraged, and apologised for any offence that was caused.

Freedom of expression

The KZN education department said on Thursday in a statement that pupils’ artwork should not be used for political purposes.

“Everyone has the right to express themselves in this matter. Let us remember these are schoolchildren,” provincial education head Nkosinathi Sishi said.

“It is unacceptable for a school’s management to allow individuals with their own agendas to ridicule and insult the leadership of the country in this manner,” he said.

Sishi said he was concerned that the incident was being used to possibly settle political scores and that he did not want the incident politicised.

He praised the school, saying it was one of the better schools in the department, which under principal Trevor Hall had achieved much.

“I think this is a school that needs to be supported,” said Sishi.


Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  pietermaritzburg  |  durban  |  education  |  politics

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