- Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, has come forward to explain that he does not “hate Afrikaans”
- This statement was made following concerns regarding Lesufi’s renaming of HF Vervoed High School
- Lesufi claimed the motivation behind the renaming was an attempt to undo apartheid-era leader Vervoed’s work in SA, but Afrikaner-rights group, AfriForum, saw it as an attack on the Afrikaans language
Panyaza Lesufi, Education MEC (Member of the Executive Council) for Gauteng, recently clarified that he does not see the Afrikaans language in a bad light.
Lesufi made this clarification as somewhat of a rebuttal to Afrikaner-right group, AfriForum, who recently accused the MEC of attacking the Afrikaans language.
According to The Citizen, AfriForum didn’t take kindly to Lesufi’s renaming of a local high school, from HF Vervoed to Rietondale Secondary.
Hendrik Vervoed was a South African prime minister, during the apartheid era, and enforced many oppressive laws during his rule.
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Lesufi claimed that the decision to change the school’s name was part of his attempt to undo the effects of Vervoed’s reign on the South African education system, Briefly.co.za gleaned.
Afrikaner-rights group, AfriForum, subsequently accused Lesufi of trying to come across as an a hero, while actually attacking the Afrikaans language.
Lesufi countered this accusation in a speech yesterday at the Nasrec Expo Centre.
“I don’t hate Afrikaans and have respect for all 11 official languages, as well as mother-tongue education. These would be incorporated into the education system,” the Gauteng MEC for Education explained.
Lesufi went on to say that, although he supported the use of all South African languages in the schoolyard, he was against schools that taught only in Afrikaans and forced children to learn the language.
The MEC also retorted that he was standing fast when it came to his opinions and plans regarding language in South African schools.
“You have the right to resist what I want, but I also have the right to resist your resistance,” Lesufi said.
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