Lesufi's re-appointment is a slap in the face of minority groups: FF Plus

31 May 2019 - 18:20 By Nonkululeko Njilo
MEC for education Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi.
MEC for education Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Panyaza Lesufi via Twitter

The Freedom Front Plus on Friday described the re-appointment of Panyaza Lesufi as  Gauteng education MEC as "a slap in the face of minorities".

The decision to reinstate Lesufi was made by Gauteng premier David Makhura following a public outcry over his move from the portfolio to finance and e-government.

The FF+ said there was no doubt that Lesufi would continue his work of "eradication of mother-tongue education and Afrikaans in particular".

"Lesufi has not even tried to hide the fact that he has no regard for Afrikaans and that he wants to destroy Afrikaans schools. While serving as MEC, he ensured that numerous Afrikaans schools transformed to English, and it is disturbing that Makhura apparently gave in to 'public pressure' to restore the status quo as regards Lesufi," said the party's MPL and caucus leader, Adv Anton Alberts.

He claimed that records showed that Lesufi was not a competent MEC, despite the public claiming otherwise.

"He did not build enough schools even though he had the budget for it and now he will probably keep on intimidating Afrikaans schools so that they will transform to English," said Alberts.

During Lesufi's first term as MEC, a concrete walkway fell and claimed the lives of six learners at Hoerskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark. The FF+ said Lesufi was to blame for the poor infrastructure.

"The Driehoek tragedy serves as proof that he does not care about the maintenance of schools' infrastructure. His only interest in that school and the other schools that were recently inspected was to determine if the schools are full and if there is any space for additional learners who do not speak Afrikaans.

"It is extremely problematic that a person, who is actually partly to blame for the tragedy, will be put back in charge of an environment where children's safety will be directly affected by his negligent behaviour," said Alberts.

The party has vowed to ensure that Lesufi executes his mandate on a non-discriminatory basis in accordance with the constitution, which guarantees the protection and promotion of mother-tongue education.

"The FF Plus will endeavour to unite the opposition against Lesufi and will also make sure that the opposition takes note of his shortcomings that do not deserve their support. He is hiding behind the fa├žade of being a public figure so that people will not see his shortcomings, namely that as MEC of education he is utterly unable to properly serve and look out for the interests of the people and learners in Gauteng," the party said.

"We will use the opposition numbers to oppose Lesufi as much as possible and force him to protect mother-tongue education and Afrikaans.

"Makhura made a big mistake to move Lesufi back. This is characteristic of the ANC government that is unsure of its own policies, that has internal faction fights and that is struggling to find competent people in its own ranks who can be deployed in positions where they can effectively serve everyone in South Africa," added the party.