Orania is being used to score cheap political points: what you said about Lesufi's vow to shut down town

14 October 2021 - 11:30
By Cebelihle Bhengu
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi weighed in on Orania. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi weighed in on Orania. File photo.

TimesLIVE readers say Orania is being used as an easy target to score cheap political points ahead of the local government elections on November 1.

This after Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi made his stance clear about Orania, a small town in the Northern Cape, saying “it will go”. He was responding to an election manifesto by the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) which calls for an end to affirmative action and black economic empowerment (BEE).

Party leader Pieter Groenewald launched the manifesto at the weekend, saying the party will not tolerate BEE, which it said stands for the enrichment of elite blacks. 

Lesufi said affirmative action “will be with us until your ancestors' sins are eradicated. We are also nie bang nie [not afraid]. Orania will go, you can scream and shout as you wish,” he wrote. 

Situated in the Karoo, the town was established in 1963 in an attempt to preserve Afrikaner culture within SA — an effort cemented in the early 1990s when the then dilapidated town was bought and rebuilt.

FF+ MP Corné Mulder hit back at Lesufi, saying bashing the minorities in the small town will not save the ruling party. 

“Did you have a bad day? Afrikaner and minority bashing will not save the ANC. You had your chance and will be swept aside by history. ANC inherited [the] most developed state in Africa and destroyed it. Nothing that the ANC touched in 27 years does not need serious turnaround strategy,” he tweeted

TimesLIVE ran a poll asking readers whether they thought the ruling party should dissolve the town. 

The majority (46%) of readers said they only hear about Orania when it's election time because it is an “easy target”, while 33% were left with more questions than answers, asking how the MEC plans to do this without violating the constitutional rights of the residents, and 21% agreed with Lesufi, adding the existence of Orania was stalling efforts to unite all South Africans.

Facebook users were not impressed with the MEC.

“They can't close potholes but they want to close Orania,” Thabiso Kekana wrote.

“They fail to do best for the people of SA, now they rush things that supposed to be corrected long time ago. They must first fix their greediness and corruption,” said Zukisa Ngeyiya.

Riaan Schutte said: “They are a successful community and are doing very well for themselves while the rest of the country is in a downward spiral.”

The MEC also hardly got any support from Twitter users: