‘I did not say that!’

Le­sufi de­nies claims of la­belling Klip­spruit West com­mu­nity as racist dur­ing SHRC hear­ings

The New Age (Gauteng) - - GAUTENG NEWS - SHONISANI TSHIKALANGE news@the­newage.co.za

GAUT­ENG ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi, dur­ing his sub­mis­sion at the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion (HRC) hear­ing in Braam­fontein yes­ter­day, slammed claims he had la­belled the com­mu­nity of Klip­spruit West racist.

“I deny claims that I have la­belled the com­mu­nity of Klip­spruit West as racist. I have never ut­tered any­thing that was in­ap­pro­pri­ate,” he said.

Le­sufi said prin­ci­pals were ap­pointed based on com­pe­tency and not be­cause of their race.

The hear­ing in re­sponse to com­plaints of re­cent public un­rests in El­do­rado Park con­vened on Mon­day.

The hear­ing is be­ing con­ducted to re­solve is­sues of racism in the com­mu­nity.

The prob­lems at the school arose from the ap­point­ment of a black prin­ci­pal, who com­mu­nity mem­bers did not want.

The school has spent about two years with­out a prin­ci­pal after the pre­vi­ous prin­ci­pal re­signed be­cause he was un­der per­form­ing. Le­sufi high­lighted the pro­cesses that are fol­lowed when ap­point­ing a school prin­ci­pal.

“The school gov­ern­ing body must rec­om­mend three can­di­dates and the head of depart­ment holds the de­ci­sion. All can­di­dates that are short listed must meet the min­i­mum re­quire­ments of the job po­si­tion as ad­ver­tised. It is not the score that de­ter­mines the ap­point­ment of the right can­di­dates but other el­e­ments are taken into con­sid­er­a­tion,” he said.

He said the depart­ment should have had in­volved pupils more broadly in the mat­ter. The com­mu­nity of El­do­rado Park on Mon­day pointed out marginal­i­sa­tion and the lack of ser­vice de­liv­ery as the un­der­ly­ing fac­tors that led to the re­cent un­rest at Klip­spruit West Se­condary School. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Pa­tri­ots of Equal­ity, An­thony Wil­liams on Mon­day said the com­mu­nity was dis­ap­pointed with the HRC for not in­ter­ven­ing as soon as the un­rest started.

“Our peo­ple are for­got­ten, there is con­fu­sion among our­selves as to where we be­long be­cause we have fam­ily mem­bers who have other eth­nic­ity,” Wil­liams said.He said em­ploy­ment eq­uity had done an in­jus­tice to the coloured com­mu­nity as the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple who oc­cu­pied top po­si­tions were African.

“Soweto has al­most seven empty schools and pupils are brought to El­do­rado.

“Par­ents in Soweto don’t want their chil­dren to be taught by African teach­ers,” Wil­liams said.

He said there would never be har­mony un­til the is­sues in the com­mu­nity were ad­dressed.

Wiseman Hamil­ton of the Greater El­do­rado Park United Civic said the ANC gov­ern­ment was favour­ing one group over an­other.

“The ANC has ag­gra­vated this is­sue by some of the im­ple­men­ta­tions that they have made,” he said.

He said poverty, un­em­ploy­ment and the gen­eral sense of be­ing left be­hind by the new gov­ern­ment were con­tribut­ing fac­tors to the com­mu­nity un­rest.

FIRM DE­NIAL: Gaut­eng ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi has slammed claims he la­belled the Klip­spruit West com­mu­nity ‘racist’, say­ing he never ut­tered any­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

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