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Johannesburg - Julius Malema says he will not take his son out of an elite private school despite his earlier call on public representatives to use public facilities, amenities and institutions.
The Economic Freedom Fighters leader said his child would not attend “dysfunctional and poor” public schools.
He also told The Star he would hold on to his medical aid, giving him access to private healthcare.
This contradicted his statement at the first media briefing he addressed as EFF parliamentary leader on Sunday.
Then, Malema said it made no sense for the government to provide services that its leaders – such as MPs and cabinet ministers – were not prepared to use.
“We want schools and hospitals to be upgraded… They will never be of (good) quality if MPs are not using them,” he said.
But, on Monday, Malema said his 8-year-old son Ratanang would stay at his prestigious private school, whose name The Star is withholding, unless a law compelling elected representatives to use public facilities was passed.
“Why must I subject my child to poor education when people who are in power don’t do it?” he asked.
Tuition fees from Grade 1 to Grade 6 at the exclusive school range from R36 000 to R41 400 a year.
The fees exclude dormitories, textbooks and school uniform costs.
Malema said government ministers and MECs send their children to private schools and subject ordinary people to poor schools.
“And our children will punish us in the future for taking them to dysfunctional schools,” he said.
Asked if he was prepared to lead by example and send his son to a public school pending the passing of his desired law, Malema responded: “Why must I be the first one to commit suicide?”
He said he was not prepared to use public hospitals either.
“The same thing with hospitals.I will never give away my medical aid until they (government ministers) go to those hospitals,” Malema said.
During the EFF election campaign, Malema slammed MPs’ and ministers’ benefits.
“Why should we buy politicians cars and houses while they work? The time of politicians being treated like royalty is over,” he said during a pre-election rally in Atteridgeville.
But after his party secured 25 seats in the National Assembly, Malema and his EFF MPs flew to Cape Town, lodged at expensive hotels and have indicated they have nothing against residing in plush parliamentary villages.
Malema defended the decision to enjoy parliamentary benefits, saying the EFF would change the status quo if it was in power.