WATCH | Mmusi Maimane to give president 48-hour ultimatum over decision to reopen schools
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane will give President Cyril Ramaphosa and the national command council (NCC) 48 hours to outline the reasons why they have decided to reopen schools on June 1.
Maimane launched an online petition last week, which has now received more than 155,000 signatures from citizens opposed to reopening schools at this stage. He said that should there be no response from government within the stipulated time, he will consider legal action.
“I will request the president, who is the chair of the NCC, to give us the rational reasons why they are taking this administrative action. I'll be giving them 48 hours and should we hear no response, we're willing to take legal action against this government.”
Bagaetsho, I promised an important update when we passed the 150 000 mark with the schools petition. We have now crossed that mark in just 5 days.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) May 24, 2020
I am giving the President @CyrilRamaphosa 48 hours to respond to us. #SchoolsReopening #SafetyFirst pic.twitter.com/URnv4ZFqx6
Pupils in grades 7 and 12 will be the first to be phased in, as the department of basic education plans to reopen schools in a staggered fashion, minister Angie Motshekga announced last week.
In a statement issued earlier this month and reposted by Maimane on Sunday, the One SA Movement said schools should remain closed for another three months as stringent safety precautions needed to be implemented that will not compromise the safety of pupils, teachers and staff.
They include mandatory testing, provisions of adequate PPE, weekly disinfection of classrooms and ventilated transport for pupils.
“Schools cannot simply return to the way they were, with the simple addition of being Covid-19 safe. We have entered a 'new normal' and this requires the DBE to respond by fixing our broken and unequal education system,” read the statement.