School disruptions a human rights scandal: Zille

2012-03-21 16:19

Johannesburg - The interruption of schooling was a human rights scandal in democratic South Africa, DA leader Helen Zille said on Wednesday as the country celebrated Human Rights Day.

Speaking at a Human Rights Day march in Port Elizabeth, Zille said a situation where teachers right's to strike trump the rights of pupils to learn, compromised their ability too reach their full potential.

"That is the real human rights scandal of our democracy, and we can't afford to let it continue any longer," the Democratic Alliance leader said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"The Constitution also guarantees the right of all South Africans to decent basic education.

"The interruption of schooling inconveniences the life chances of the children concerned. Just a day missed in following the curriculum puts children behind in their learning and risks their futures."

While everyone's rights should be protected, including that of teachers, unprecedented strikes like those recently seen in the Eastern Cape, held the youth hostage, she said.

"It robs our youth of the opportunities with which they can build their own future... South Africans know that a quality education provides a ladder out of poverty and the door to a job opportunity."

Zille said a hostage situation was at play at many schools across the country.

She criticised the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) for "slamming the door in the faces of our children", and the government for "standing idly" watching it happen.

"The conduct of Sadtu over the last two years is nothing short of a national disgrace," she said.

She said she witnessed "political expediency in its worst form" when President Jacob Zuma "flippantly" thanked Sadtu in his state of the nation address.

Zille said Zuma sold out the potential and future prospects of every South African learner for a few extra votes in Bloemfontein where the African National Congress would elective congress would be held in December.

"Why should our children's futures be sacrificed on the altar of the political ambitions of a select group of union cronies?" she asked.

She said Zuma promised South Africans that teachers would be "in class, on time and teaching".

"Instead, we've had Sadtu teachers out of the class, in the streets, and definitely off-task."

  • Pythagoras - 2012-03-21 16:26

    Again... Zuma and the whole of the ANC has no idea how to run a country! Children's education is key to our future as they will be our future businessmen and woman and leaders! How can a country flourish with uneducated workers? Zille for president!

      Louisa - 2012-03-21 16:55

      Your mentality is that of the Komandors camp leader and you should be treated with contempt you deserve. Maybe for your precious Zille to rule this country, she first has to relinquish that position to a black leader then maybe, DA can occupy the seat. for now keep union building for someone who still call people refugees in their own country.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:00

      Zille for president?...yes president of the DA, not SA... she will never get the black vote as long as she keeps underming blacks and calling them refugees.

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-21 17:08

      @ Louisa and Simnikiwe - Ok, so say I (as a white man) leaves my birth place (WC) and move to JHB for a better education, I cannot be called a refugee? Who gives you the right to label a refugee as only black huh? You are like horses with those blinds next to their eyes. You can only see one way and that is that all whites are racists. Shame... I pity both of you. One day you will see what is actually happening in SA and then maybe I will sit next to the table with you and have a drink! But for now, I pity and despise you!

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:13

      Pythogoras, a refugee is "a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster" (google). A person leaving WC for JHB is not a refugee because they are not leaving from one country to another.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-21 17:14

      Louisa, I say that your statement, based on a colour of someone's skin, makes you as racist as the Nats. Sim, calling people refugees is not an insult to them, it is highlighting their plight. A very sad fact is that they have to leave the ANC-run Eastern Cape for a better life in the DA run Western Cape. Your interpretation ignores the elephant in the room: the ANC are failing the people and turning it's own people into migrant itinerants, seeking a better life.

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-21 17:17

      @ Simnikiwe - It was figure of speech... Not a literal refugee idiot! Explained below: A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:36

      Goyougoodthing, calling a South African a refugee in South Africa is an insult because you're undermining their constitutional right of living anywhere they want to live in S.A.

      Mc - 2012-03-21 17:43

      A President for Hillybillies, Lol.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-21 17:44

      Sim, you are getting tied up in Semantics and missing her point. The Eastern Cape and the ANC is failing the children of this country, not Helen Zille. Look at the big picture dude! They may as well be refugees considering their options... education is the only way out of poverty, unless you are a politician.

      Art - 2012-03-21 17:45

      Simnikiwe... be honest.... Which province would you feel comfortable to SCHOOL YOUR CHILDREN IN? Eastern Cape or Western Cape????? Not speaking PRIVATE education here either.... Government Schools... I rest my case!

      J.D. - 2012-03-21 17:47

      Simnikiwe Why make the word the major issue. Why not make the major issue the major issue. If it so that children leave the EC for better education in the WC then there surely is a problem. You sre supposed to know about the collapse of the education system in EC, under the ANC. Now these children moved to the WC and the result is the burning down of the school. Can you PLEASE explain that logic I will loook for your reply but i guess it will not happen. Let us discuss this or shut up.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:53

      I agree, yes the standard of education in Eastern Cape is shocking, but Zille as a leader should've welcomed these "refugees" in her "country" instead of making them feel unwelcomed. By doing so, Zille would've assurred me, and the majority of black South Africans that the DA is not a Whites only Party.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-21 18:02

      Sim, I think this time, you are using your dislike of the Zillemonster as a basis to fight with her. She never said the kids are not welcome, she said they are becoming homeless in search of education. The reality is though, that the influx of many people into any region, where they are then integrated into finite resources, such as schools, whilst they do not bring much money into the region, will put a strain on a society. This means that the woes of the Eastern Cape now could possibly affect the people of the Western Cape, who pay their bills and deserve the education afforded them by their voting choices. It's a difficult one to handle and the repercussions of the failing ANC-governed EC is unfair on those in other regions too. The knock-on effect is massive. If the EC vote for change then one can applaud them, but if they continue to vote ANC then they should also put up with it's failures, including education.

      Art - 2012-03-21 18:06

      Simnikiwe... all she said is that the said children were "EDUCATION REFUGEES".... they had to give up the comfort of their SHACKS in the E/Cape, and move to the W/Cape to further their education.. hence the term REFUGEE! They are fully aware of the sad situation of the Education Standard in the Eastern Cape (thorn in the Govt's side) She did NOT say they were unwelcome... the DA ACCOMODATED them... ALL of them! Please stop and think BEFORE your throw your Anti DA chirps... If you stop to think about it... the DA is MILES AHEAD of the ANC, when it come to delivery!

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 18:15

      Good responses from ARt and that good thing. Im happy if they were accomodated. Thought they were "deported" to EC. I just made a fool of my self, as usual, didn't consider all the facts before engaging in Debate. Good points guys.

      Art - 2012-03-21 18:24

      Sim... no problem... I am DISGUSTED on how the ANC have let their people down, ... I voted for them on 1994... and made a TOTAL FOOL of myself when I saw how their PRIORITIES were muddled up... Sad thing is, after 18 years.... they still as muddled up as they were in 1994....

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 18:32

      Art we really do need a new government, but first we need to get rid of racism. I believe black peeps will never vote for DA as long as News24 readers keep insulting blacks and making idiotic jokes abou how lazy and competent black people are. By those comments, news24 readers are actually encouraging black people to stick with the ANC instead of voting for the DA. Its no brainer really, would you vote for a party where there majority of members perceive you as trash?

      Ben - 2012-03-21 18:34

      Simnikiwe, for a moment I could not understand. Admitting your oversight is just great. I will keep reading your comments and appreciate your honesty and insight.

      pws69 - 2012-03-21 18:55

      Definitions of a Refugee "a person who has fled from some danger or problem, esp political persecution" World English Dictionary "refugee 1685, from Fr. refugiƩ, prop. pp. of refugier "to take shelter, protect," from O.Fr. refuge (see refuge). First applied to Fr. Huguenots who migrated after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes. The word meant "one seeking asylum," till 1914, when it evolved to mean "one fleeing home" (first applied in this sense to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I)." Etymonline "The term refugee is often used to include displaced persons who may fall outside the legal definition in the Convention,[3] either because they have left their home countries because of war and not because of a fear of persecution, or because they have been forced to migrate within their home countries." Wikipedia Mmmm

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 19:00

      Wikipedia is not a reliable source Pws69. That definition may not be correct.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-21 20:19

      Sim: respect mate. You make good points, this forum shows off the worst of all rainbows... not sure how much is real racism vs frustration, but it doesn't help anyone.

      Blip - 2012-03-21 20:48

      Why "welcome" refugees? They're a burden, not an asset.

      Michael - 2012-03-22 08:06

      Michael - Just posted Report comment Simnikiwe has just gave a definition of a refugee and stated that a person moving within a country is not a refugee. That is a non-disputable fact. Unfortunately 48 (and counting) morons have pressed thumbsdown for that comment. Does this mean they dispute the fact or they are mere DA supporters who will thumbsdown anything anti-DA? C'mon. Remove your blinkers. You are no less than same people you label ignorant ANC supporters.

      Willie - 2012-03-22 13:17

      @-Simnikiwe It seems to me you generally have the problem with Mrs Zille,start to look at the issue. Simply play the ball not the man

      Willie - 2012-03-22 13:22

      @- Simnikiwe those people ran away from danger of not getting education

  • AdeleFHM - 2012-03-21 16:30

    This madness will go on forever Typical!

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-21 16:38

    spot-on zille...that was a good point, even though i hate your black face during elections...its time you plan a move into neighbouring EC or else next year the crazy teachers are gonna disrupt the whole term leading to many refugees in WC.

  • Ben - 2012-03-21 16:48

    Nothing can be done for human rights while AA, BEE, corruption, tender fraud and nepotism continues.

  • Paul - 2012-03-21 16:49

    shame when is helen, the fierce anti-apartheid acivist against the so-called previous regime gonna wake up and see what africans are made of? that they can't govern themselves, let alone others, what made her think this country would be any different from the rest of africa including the worst, Ethiopia, where there was ZERO colonialism or so-called imperialism? Helen can u now see your fight against the hated Nationalists Party was in vain, the devil you knew is a little lamb in comparison with what u have today. Or are u just another politician Helen?

      Art - 2012-03-21 17:46

      Paul.... go take a bath!

      rory.short1 - 2012-03-21 17:48

      Paul, Apartheid was wrong. The current behaviour of many in the ANC government is also wrong. Unfortunately a political career is very attractive to self-serving individuals every where in the world. Sadly such individuals flock to the political party that is currently in power. They are drawn to it like iron filings to a magnet. That is why a vibrant and vigorous civil society is absolutely essential in order to counter act such people and to maintain the social health of any society.

  • Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 16:52

    Labelling people as refugees in their own country is a human rights scandal Zille, you're makin them feel as if they don't belong here. Whilst you're the one who doesn't belong here...

      Grootrot - 2012-03-21 17:03

      Simnikiwe, where is it not in this article that Zille labelled people as refugees in their own country? Then to whom was she referring, if she did that? Why does she not belong here?

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-21 17:10

      It was figure of speech... Explained below: A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity.

      djmcconnachie - 2012-03-21 17:15

      Clearly the nuances of language are lost on you. If I can't get work in my hometown and have to seek it elsewhere in the country, I am a 'refugee' of sorts. Likewise, if one can't get the education one deserves in one's own province and has to seek it elsewhere, one is also a 'refugee'. But there's a good English expression - there are none so blind as those who do not want to see.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:28

      Pythogoras, figure of speech or not, the damage has already been done. Zille as a leader should've known better that this 'figure of speech" would offend blacks. She meant those peeps don't belong in WC, which is quite absurd because they have a constitutional right to live anywhere in SA. The group areas act no longer exists in SA, but in Zille's head, it is alive and kicking. Apartheid mentality...

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:31

      Dj, you can't be a refugee in your own country, I don't care how you put it. A refugee is some one who flees from one country to another.

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-21 17:42

      @ MC - If you can explain how a non-racist comment, trying to depict a problem in a province has violated your human rights then I will agree with you. BUT she did nothing wrong... It's your narrow mindedness that is corrupting your thoughts! Please stop trying to convince others that our future president has done something wrong!

      Mc - 2012-03-21 17:46

      Pythagorus: are you looking for theorem? Our rights are violated on Human Rights day. Hele is racist finish and klaar.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:48

      Pythogoras, if you are still not convinced that Zille violated a constitutional right then I suggest you logoff news24 and go study the constitution of the country mate.

      Mc - 2012-03-21 17:48

      Thank Theorem: I bet your fragrance of choice is "Eau De Skunk".

      Gerard - 2012-03-21 17:55

      A refugee is a person who is outside their country of origin or habitual residence because they have suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted 'social group. Refer to the Habitual Residence part, Simnikiwe, why are you focusing on Zille, if you believe her comment is racist, then so be it, that is yours and maybe others as well, but what you are missing is her message, the message of poor education in the Eastern Cape. You and everybody who feels the same way have completely missed the point. The blame needs to stop and these uneducated children need to be educated, whether through the ANC or DA, we dont care, they just need to be helped. So why dont you and everybody else just focus on what needs to be done and call the pepole responsible for the poor education to task. And please do yourself a favour and not blame apartheid for it, schooling could very easily have been rectified in this time.

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 18:01

      Gerard, read my reply to J.D, ART and Goyougoodthind under Pythogoras's post.

      rory.short1 - 2012-03-21 18:01

      If people in huge numbers are leaving one of our provinces and moving to another province because the government in their home province is failing them then one is tempted to call them refugees, refugees from their failing provincial government. Luckily we have a provincial structure and a democracy so the people of a province can elect a different provincial government if they feel that the present one is failing them but obviously the people who are leaving the Eastern Cape do not see much hope of changing the government there so they are choosing to move to another province instead.

      Elize - 2012-03-21 18:02

      Didn't we have a troll alert about someone??

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 18:09

      Rory I acknowledge the fact that EC is f*ucked up, but I wont accept the violation of our constitutional rights which our brothers and sisters fought so hard for pre 1994. They sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy these rights. Yes ANC is corrupt and not doing a good job in providing public services. Zille undermined the constitution and you people defend her. Thats just f*cked up!

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 18:21

      Lol Elize, I was "trolling" for my research, am done with my research now. So no more trolling...if however Im considered a troll just because I have a different opinion, then I consider you a troll too, cause you have a different opinion from me.

      Blip - 2012-03-21 20:50

      Well, what DOES a refugee bring that is of value to his or her host? Who needs an additional burden?

      Blip - 2012-03-21 21:09

      You don't have a constitutional right to be made welcome. Read the constitution again.

  • Annelize Delport - 2012-03-21 16:56

    Wonder which schools, does President Zuma's 20 children attend to. Definitely not a school were the teachers are not in the class. Where there is no running water. No decent toilet facilities. Don't have a soup kitchen. I wonder ...

      Ben - 2012-03-21 17:21

      Annalize, a political insect can be described as one who only looks after himself and would devour anything that comes in its way.

  • Louisa - 2012-03-21 17:14

    Phatagors, You're free to call yourself a refugee.I refuse to be called a refugee in the land of my ancestors.

  • Nick - 2012-03-21 17:15

    A bigger problem than occasional "interruptions" due to protests by teachers or students, is the little everyday disruptions by unruly pupils in class about which a teacher is powerless to act. If we declare disruptions a human rights abuse, I look forward to teachers taking their students to court for diminishing their human dignity, and from preventing them from practicing their occupation freely.

  • Paulo 'Cappy' Marques - 2012-03-21 17:15

    Zimnikwle u didn't get an F for wood work u got a big F for life boy!!

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 17:44

      Only a fool would resort to insults when they have nothing intelligent to contribute to the debate, and you my friend, is an A+ fool.

  • Paulo 'Cappy' Marques - 2012-03-21 17:18

    Some of you and i mean some 'read properly' Of u blacks are the biggest RACIsTs .... Full stop!! Without us whites you gonna starve.. Me I'm immigrating so im gonna laugh whilst I sit back and watch on tv the suffering that's yet to come!! Feel sorry for my friends black and white who stay behind.

      Elize - 2012-03-21 18:07

      Us we immigrating too but before we go we closing our company down and putting 70 yes 70 black families out of work, might not sound a lot but our little contribution to the economy of this country. Just not worth the worry anymore time for us to go sit back and relax.......

  • rory.short1 - 2012-03-21 17:33

    Good for you Helen, JZ's priorities can clearly be seen in his praise of SADTU, my needs first and everybody else's needs definitely second or worse. A person with such an attitude is not fit to lead others

  • Louisa - 2012-03-21 17:49

    Madam Hellen Zille has shot herself in the foot. She is now no different to Jimmy Manyi. Western Cape belong to all South Africans unless she wants to form her own Komandoors camp. I bet the black DA leaders won't rebuke her utterances since they are driven by politics of the stomach. N.B for those white people who think SA cannot fuuntion properly without them, they are deluding themselves. E.G Nigerian is doing fine and their economy is improving without white supremacy. I wish most SA Black people were mentally strong like Nigerians.

      Pythagoras - 2012-03-21 17:54

      Hahahahaha! My father was relocated to Nigeria to sort out the problems of one of the companies there! And guess what... The management there are all white! I wonder why...??? In your face! Oh and by the way... They have bombings every single day there!

      Wim - 2012-03-21 18:02

      So what are the all doing in SA?

      Elize - 2012-03-21 18:09

      My word but you truly have NO NO NO idea what you are talking about!!!!

      Carlton Bana - 2012-03-21 19:15

      Bwahahaha Nigeria is a bad example, move there if you so strong about your logic.

  • J.D. - 2012-03-21 18:12

    Simnikiwe So what say is that Zille should "welcome" all the cildren from the EC in the WC. Tell me where should the teachers come from , who will pay them and where will the schools be found. Also tell me why is it that the education system in the WC did not collapse?

      Simnikiwe - 2012-03-21 18:26

      Oh come on J.D you guys won the debate, stop rubbing salt into the wound. Although it was 3 on 1, I defended my self quite well.

      J.D. - 2012-03-21 18:49

      The future is constructive engagement. Thanks for your response. We will talk again on this site

  • Louisa - 2012-03-21 18:19

    @ Wim...same reason why your Great Grandfather decided to settle in SA. @ Phathagors, Just because your father was called to Nigeria to sort out some business Problems there, doesn't mean they whole country is economically crumbling. SA& Nigerian are mentioned as the two economic power house in Africa. Just to mention ukuthi White South Africans must not think they are doing us any favours to be here. We all need each other for this country to work. Eastern Cape people are relocating to WC, but its not the only province in SA that has experienced influ , all the metros are..but why is she barkiing as if she is the president of the country. I bet if we allow her to occupy the highest seat in the country thats means our fellow Africans will be chased away moes.

      Blip - 2012-03-21 21:07

      Nobody is "chased away". You're just not given a welcome hug when you bring no value to where you come, but only an extra burden.

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