Motsoeneng's motivational talk to pupils cancelled after DA complaint

2017-05-03 17:54
Hlaudi Motsoeneng  (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24, file)

Hlaudi Motsoeneng (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24, file)

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Johannesburg - A motivational talk by former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng at an Ivory Park high school was cancelled on Wednesday after the Democratic Alliance objected to him spreading his "political campaign".

He left the Eqinisweni Secondary School shortly after 10:00, after Gauteng education department officials stopped him from addressing pupils.

The DA had written a letter to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, objecting to the talk, who then contacted the provincial department.

The party said Motsoeneng was in contravention of Section 33A of the South African Schools Act, which prohibits political activities during school time.

Motsoeneng told News24 that he had objected to addressing pupils when they were supposed to be in class, but that he couldn't be stopped from addressing them outside of class. He said he would continue to give motivational talks.

"I don't deal with politics, I deal with reality. I didn't finish matric, yes, but they don't know my history. They don't know my contribution to education. I have contributed a lot to helping South Africa, especially students," he said.

The talk was organised by Ivory Park-based youth organisation Kuzondlula Motivational Tour (KMT).

Its chairperson Vuyolwethu Sibiya said they were disappointed by the abrupt cancellation of the event and that pupils would be most affected by what appeared to be a political agenda against Motsoeneng.

The DA criticised "the political nature of the event" and said it was part of Motsoeneng's ongoing political campaign, following his suspension from the SABC.

'Ordinary people love Hlaudi'

Motsoeneng couldn't be considered a role model for children as he had lied about having matric when he applied to work at the public broadcaster in 1995, and had increased his salary three times in one year while he was chief operating officer, the DA said.

"The DA should not use apartheid tactics. I have the freedom to address people. If I am not your role model, it doesn't mean I am not a role model to others. That is how life is. The DA can't stop Hlaudi. Even some of their own members stand for what I stand for, and they support me. Maybe it is their leaders that don't like me, but ordinary people love Hlaudi," Motsoeneng said.

Sibiya said the organisation had obtained permission from the principal to hold the talk, as the Johannesburg school had a high suicide rate, alcohol abuse, and teenage pregnancies. The principal had asked KMT to intervene as they had been there before, he said.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said the event was cancelled because procedures to get permission for the talk were not followed.

Sibiya said they had called the department's district director, Mnyamezeli Ndevu, to inform him about the event, but that he had not responded.

Motsoeneng said he had still not decided whether to enter politics.

"People in politics have been calling me. They believe I could be a good politician. I haven't decided what I want to do. I am still dealing with my issues. I will decide when the time is right."


Read more on:    da  |  hlaudi ­motsoeneng  |  johannesburg  |  education

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