Ramaphosa praises Pretoria Girls High protesters

2016-09-01 19:03
Pupils from Pretoria High School for Girls. (News24)

Pupils from Pretoria High School for Girls. (News24)

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Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended Pretoria High School for Girls pupils who protested this week over their school’s hair policy.

They were honouring former President Nelson Mandela by protesting against “cultural chauvinism”, he told MPs in the National Assembly on Thursday.

“The values of Nelson Mandela should form the foundation of the society we are seeking to build. In this regard, we wish to commend the young girls who rose against an injustice which undermines their identity, humanity, cultural rights and history.

"I'm speaking here of the learners at Pretoria High School for Girls, Lawson Brown High in Nelson Mandela Bay and others around the country. If the country is truly going to honour Madiba, we must eradicate all forms of cultural chauvinsm, be it black or white.”

Ramaphosa was answering a question on the response of South Africans to International Nelson Mandela Day on July 18.

'Does the ANC uphold Mandela's values?'

During supplementary questions, an EFF MP asked Ramaphosa if the ANC was honouring Mandela's legacy by continuing to keep President Jacob Zuma in office. The MP called Zuma “scum”.

"Your party stands in antithesis of what Madiba stood for. Your party keeps in office a man who failed to uphold the Constitution, who has 783 charges of corruption over his head, who has been rejected by South Africans during municipal elections.”

Ramaphosa said Mandela would not have approved of the language used to describe Zuma.

“I would have wanted to ask you how Madiba would have felt, if you described him in the terms that you referred to President Zuma, as 'scum'.

“Madiba taught us that however much you disagree with someone, always treat them with respect, always treat them with dignity," he said to applause from ANC MPs.

EFF leader Julius Malema accused Ramaphosa of dodging the question, and said it was unacceptable for him to not answer opposition MPs in full.


Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  cape town  |  pretoria  |  parliament 2016

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