Don’t believe ANC critics on higher education— Mantashe
JOHANNESBURG — The ANC’s critics are creating the impression that the party has done nothing to improve access to higher education, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday.
“People refer to the Freedom Charter and they read the headline, stop there, and say therefore you are offering free education,” he said at the opening of the Black Management Forum’s annual conference in Midrand.
However, the authors of the document said access to university education should be granted on merit, he said. Basic education should be free and compulsory.
He said his comments recently that universities should be closed for six months if destruction of property on campuses continued, had opened him up to insults.
“Some of you send me messages,” he said.
Mantashe told journalists on the sidelines of a trade union conference WELLINGTON — The All Blacks suspended scrumhalf Aaron Smith yesterday over a toilet tryst with a woman at a busy airport, in the latest scandal to hit the beleaguered New Zealand Rugby union.
Coach Steve Hansen said the 54-Test veteran breached team standards and his fellow players felt he should be punished. “As a result Smith was not considered for selection for this weekend’s Durban Test,” Hansen said as the world champions prepare for their Rugby Championship Test match against South Africa.
Hansen said Smith was seen entering a toilet cubicle with a woman at Christchurch Airport the day after the Test against South Africa in the South Island city last month.
Commentators said it continued a “season from hell” for New Zealand Rugby (NZR) after incidents involving Waikato Chiefs players and a stripper, followed by a teenage star’s violent rampage.
New Zealand media ran grainy mobile phone in Cape Town last month that if he was higher education minister he would shut down universities for six months to teach students a lesson. ANC Youth League president Collen Maine said his comments were reckless. “When you go to university, you are not doing it for Blade, you are doing it for yourself,” Mantashe said, referring to the higher education minister.
He told the audience that when his daughter lost focus on her studies, he allowed her to take a gap year. She subsequently did well in both her academic career and personal life.
He said the party was open to suggestions regarding Gauteng’s e-toll system. It was adding to the middle class’s debt and bond repayments.
He called on young professionals to come up with ideas about e-tolls, instead of demonstrating against the party and threatening to teach it a lesson in the 2019 elections. — AFP
All Black punished for toilet tryst with woman
photographs of Smith (27) and the woman leaving the airport’s disabled cubicle after about 10 minutes.
“This was not discreet, it was 14:00 on a Sunday where there were a lot of children and fans around,” a unnamed witness told the New Zealand Herald. “He was in his full All Blacks uniform and there was not an ounce of remorse or regret on his face.”
It is not Smith’s first brush with controversy. In 2014, he said he was “hugely embarrassed” after a naked selfie emerged on social media but insisted he had learnt his lesson.
He will face a misconduct hearing on his return to New Zealand.
NZR chief executive Steve Tew said: “This was really bad decision-making by Aaron which reflects poorly on him, and on the team.”
Tew faced criticism from women’s groups last month over NZR’s handling of a stripper’s allegations that Chiefs players sexually assaulted her during a team night out. — AFP