Hundreds of pupils march to Luthuli House to demand ANC top six's attention

2019-04-08 18:13
ANC secretary general and former Free State premier Ace Magashule. Photo: Deaan Vivier

ANC secretary general and former Free State premier Ace Magashule. Photo: Deaan Vivier

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Hundreds of members of the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) marched to Luthuli House on Monday afternoon, interrupting an ANC top six meeting.

Traffic in the area ground to a halt as learners camped outside the ANC headquarters. 

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said he stepped out of the meeting to address the students.

"We have stopped the meeting because we respect [the] demands of Cosas. The president was there."

He added that the meeting was stopped because they understood that the pupils' demands were reasonable. 

Cosas has demanded that the government address several issues, including a school infrastructure backlog, proper sanitation, the need for sanitary towels, a call for an inquiry into the high cost of data, proper action against teachers found guilty of sexual harassment, and schools' failure to account for financial audit failures.

'Your demands are quite legitimate'

Magashule said the party had engaged with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and agreed to meet with Cosas within 14 days.

"Your demands are quite legitimate. These demands were supposed to have [been] implemented... years ago.

"The ANC government must respond to these issues and our government must continue to prioritise education. The largest budget passed this year was education because immediately after election, we want to address challenges faced by education," he said. 

"Extra money has been allocated to eradicate pit latrines at schools... The minister and provinces must continue to open new schools that meet the social and economic demands. These new schools must be schools for everybody."

Cosas president John Macheke welcomed Magashule's response and urged those who were eligible, to vote for the ANC. 

"We must never forget that in the entire struggle of South Africa, the ANC is the only hope of our own people... You are sitting in the classroom... it's because of the ANC," Mocheke said.

Read more on:    anc  |  cosas  |  angie motshekga  |  ace magashule  |  education
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