Metropoli­tan come to school’s aid

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

THE Mathebe com­mu­nity in the Mafeteng district has ex­pressed grat­i­tude to Metropoli­tan Le­sotho for the timely do­na­tion of three new elec­tri­fied and equipped class­rooms which have eased the chal­lenge of in­ad­e­quate in­fras­truc­ture at Mathebe Pri­mary School.

Mathebe Pri­mary School was founded by the Le­sotho Evan­gel­i­cal Church in 1886.

How­ever, the old build­ings were no longer meet­ing cur­rent stan­dards, re­sult­ing in the school au­thor­i­ties and com­mu­nity ex­tend­ing the beg­ging bowl to the cor­po­rate sec­tor, de­vel­op­ment part­ners and other well-wish­ers for help in re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing in­fras­truc­ture.

Metropoli­tan Le­sotho sub­se­quently an­swered the call and dur­ing a re­cent han­dover cer­e­mony, Mathebe School Prin­ci­pal, Ma­pak­iso Khuele said be­fore then they were even forced to use a chicken coop for some of the lessons.

“That was not a good learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment be­cause learn­ers must be in a class room where they are com­fort­able for them to be ea­ger to par­tic­i­pate and do well in their stud­ies,” Ms Khuele said.

“There­fore, we are very proud to re­ceive the new class­rooms from Metropoli­tan Le­sotho and we heartily thank you for your gen­eros­ity.”

She re­vealed how they ini­tially strug­gled to get in touch with the in­sur­ance gi­ant, adding, “How­ever, we fi­nally found a way of en­sur­ing that the let­ter we wrote got to the cor­rect peo­ple and soon after that ne­go­ti­a­tions for the con- struc­tion started”.

“The class­rooms were even­tu­ally built and that is why we are here of­fi­cially re­ceiv­ing them from Metropoli­tan,” Ms Khuele said.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the par­ents, Ms Mamo­lahlehi Se­boka said the class­rooms were of such high qual­ity that they would not have built any­thing com­pa­ra­ble even if they had grouped to­gether like they did in some of their build­ing schemes of the past.

Ms Se­boka said God had surely blessed the com­mu­nity through Metropoli­tan and the par­ents were “there­fore very grate­ful for the gen­er­ous sup­port”.

For his part, Metropoli­tan Le­sotho Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Nkau Matete said the com­pany was happy to as­sist in im­prov­ing the lives of the chil­dren and com­mu­ni­ties es­pe­cially a time when they were cel­e­brat­ing their golden ju­bilee.

Mr Matete said Metropoli­tan com­menced op­er­a­tions in Le­sotho in 1967 and they were sup­ported by Ba­sotho, some of them par­ents of the learn­ers as well as their teach­ers who bought var­i­ous poli­cies and other prod­ucts from them.

“We know the par­ents sup­port us hence the need to come here to their chil­dren’s res­cue. We are also sup­ported by teach­ers,” said Mr Matete who also re­vealed he at­tended the pri­mary school in the late 1970s.

“We are very happy with the sup­port from the teach­ers and par­ents so will carry out sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties to give back to the com­mu­nity as part of our 50th An­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions,” he added.

From page 6. . .

One of those lessons would be for op­po­si­tion move­ments to re­sist the temp­ta­tion to ex­ag­ger­ate the in­di­vid­ual role of Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe to the detri­ment of a fo­cus on so­cial and eco­nomic jus­tice.

In South Africa, vil­i­fi­ca­tion of Pres­i­dent Zuma of­ten has the para­dox­i­cal ef­fect of strength­en­ing his hard-line sup­port, es­pe­cially when crit­ics re­sort to racist and colo­nial tropes. More im­por­tant, it is of­ten for­got­ten that the pol­i­tics of pa­tron­age, ex­em­pli­fied by Mr. Zuma’s du­bi­ous fi­nan­cial deal­ings with the Gupta fam­ily, is not lim­ited to the pres­i­dent but is widely shared within the A.N.C. As the po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Stephen Friedman ar­gues, pa­tron­age is so cen­tral to the party’s po­lit­i­cal ma­chin­ery partly be­cause most black South Africans are locked out of the white-dom­i­nated econ­omy. Of­ten, their only ac­cess to wealth is through po­lit­i­cal net­works.

More than any­thing, Zim­babwe teaches us that if the South African peo­ple’s le­git­i­mate de­mands for land and wealth re­dis­tri­bu­tion re­main un­ad­dressed for too long in the post-apartheid era, it will take only the right po­lit­i­cal en­trepreneurs to cyn­i­cally cap­i­tal­ize on a hol­low rhetoric of “rad­i­cal” and “rev­o­lu­tion­ary” de­mands to con­sol­i­date power in the face of wide­spread dis­sent. Like the A.N.C., Mr. Mu­gabe’s ZANU-PF long pre­var­i­cated on these his­toric is­sues cen­tral to the lib­er­a­tion strug­gles. It was only when Mr. Mu­gabe was los­ing po­lit­i­cal ground and in­ter­na­tional cred­i­bil­ity that his party ap­peared to re­dis­cover its rev­o­lu­tion­ary roots.

What we are wit­ness­ing now in South Africa is not so much a mat­ter of an ex­cep­tional, cor­rupt pres­i­dent as the sur­fac­ing of con­tra­dic­tions that were in­her­ent in the ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment. The longer these stay un­re­solved, and sub­ject to cyn­i­cal ma­nip­u­la­tion, the worse the con­se­quences could be. What will de­ter­mine whether South Africa can es­cape the “Zim­babwe com­plex” is its abil­ity to con­front the in­equity that was the legacy of the po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment that ended apartheid.

Chigu­madzi is the au­thor of the novel “Sweet Medicine” and the forth­com­ing book of es­says “Beau­ti­ful Hair for a Land­less Peo­ple.”

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