Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC for Education in Gauteng, alleges that AfriForum’s campaign to have him dismissed – in part because of his role in the chaotic placement process of learners in Gauteng for the 2020 schoolyear – is racist.
“All card Lesufi can play is that he is the victim of racism, since the facts are there for all to see. Lesufi’s long record of misdeeds and malpractices has been submitted to the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura’s office, and this record is based on facts only,” says Henk Maree, Spokesperson for AfriForum.
AfriForum has been inundated with calls for help from both Afrikaans and non-Afrikaans-speaking parents. “AfriForum protects the rights of parents and learners, irrespective of race. Each of the parents followed the instructions of the school registration process precisely. The problems they are having is not their fault, but that of Lesufi and his staff,” Maree adds.
Since AfriForum launched its campaign demanding the MEC’s dismissal, Lesufi has responded on social media with the following messages:
- “… our sin is to take care of all our children so that they can access quality education.”;
- “… please don’t harm my kids and my family, as for me you are free to do as you wish. I know you attempted on various occasions to harm and attack me.”; and
- “We are proud to build a truly non racial society that recognizes the need to care for the poor, weak and vulnerable at all times.”
“His remarks just prove once again that he does not accept any responsibility for the chaos he causes whatsoever. All his statements are aimed at provoking emotion and sympathy. The fact is that many children, regardless of race, could have had access to quality education if Lesufi had built the six schools, as well as 60 classrooms in the past year as had been expected of him. In addition, a large number of the poor, weak and vulnerable he refers to, could have been looked after if his Department had not incurred irregular expenditure of R900 million over the past financial year. Lastly, Lesufi cannot provide evidence of the intimidation by AfriForum that he refers to, since it never occurred,” says Maree.
AfriForum encourages the public to support the comprehensive campaign against Lesufi’s abuses by signing a petition demanding his dismissal. This can be done by visiting the website www.afriforum.co.za/en/lesufimustfall or by sending an SMS with your name to 32782 (R1).