Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has stirred a hornets’ nest after lashing out at former Model C schools, accusing them of feeding pupils anti-ANC information, including that the party is corrupt.

Dlamini Zuma made these comments during a visit to Zamdela in the Free State.

She said it was not surprising that pupils at former Model C schools thought the ANC was corrupt and useless, because this is what they were being taught at school.

The response to her accusations was immediate. Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Debbie Schäfer, the MEC for education in the Western Cape, said Dlamini Zuma was “electioneering”. She called on her to produce evidence.

Shelver asked Dlamini Zuma to name the schools that were doing this - and she called on her to specify what kind of propaganda was being fed to the pupils.

“Without evidence they (the claims) are baseless allegations and electioneering at best,” said Shelver.

But KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana said they shared Dlamini-Zuma’s views on former Model C schools.

Dlungwana’s spokesman, Kwazi Mthethwa, said the education system must be transformed in the country.

He said Dlungwana was not only talking about this, but was taking steps to address it. Last Thursday Dlungwana signed an agreement that will see the movie Kalushi being distributed at schools.

The MEC also hosted members of the cast last week, said Mthethwa.The movie is about liberation hero Solomon Mahlangu who was hanged on April 6, 1979.

Tim Gordon, national chief executive of the Governing Body Foundation, said Dlamini-Zuma’s comments were “completely uncalled for”.

“Her comments were irresponsible and it is not fair to take a broad swipe at schools. There is no directive that politics be taught in such a manner,” he said.

Education expert Professor Ruksana Osman, the dean of the faculty of humanities at Wits University, said this was worrying and warned that government should not intervene in what was taught in schools, along party lines.

“The state should not meddle in what is taught in schools, especially when we see ourselves as a democracy. The job of schools is to ensure children learn to live with all and respect the rights and views of all,” said Osman.

“The role of teachers is to encourage students to have a multiplicity of views and for students to make choices from this multiplicity of views and ideas,” she said.

“Schools cannot be places where government intervenes along party lines. This will be detrimental to our young democracy and to our children who represent our future.

“Government involvement in what is taught in classrooms and how it’s taught is dangerous,” said Osman.

Political Bureau