18/03/2014. Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele speaks at the University of South Africa on the role of academia in society. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria -

AgangSA leader Mamphela Ramphele on Tuesday slated the education system which had led to public office posts being filled by people who had no qualifications.

Speaking at Unisa, Ramphele said: “Look at our president and tell me what skills he has to govern this country.”

The Agang leader said no one in public office had the right skills, adding that it seemed that the fewer skills you had, the higher the position you held.

“The country is dragged down by people who don’t know how to manage. How do we not have electricity because the coal is wet? It is always raining in Europe, but they have electricity. We cannot manage potholes and coal because we do not have capacity.”

She said young people needed to understand the power of their votes.

“Sitting and not voting is not an answer. I know black people who say they cannot vote against this government because it is our government. No government is yours in that absolute sense.

“We cannot have an effective government with a party that believes that they will rule until Jesus comes. We must pray hard that Jesus comes back tomorrow. We cannot afford another five years with a government that has no regard for citizens.”

She said the realistic plan would include better education for the youth and a society free of fear.

South Africa was a country permeated by fear and that was what academia needed to challenge. “People are afraid of losing their place in line to get RDP houses, business is afraid of losing government jobs and even banks are afraid of that. If we do not break out of the fear, we will forever be prisoners of the bully boys and girls who run our country. If you are educated, no one can bully you. Our democracy is at risk and we must stop the slide into impunity of corruption. We must stand up and say no. I have never imagined that our education system would be worse than the one we inherited from apartheid.”

She said the country’s leadership did not believe in excellence.

“We have a government that is in alliance with one of the players in education. That is why Sadtu is able to refuse to take competency tests and government doesn’t challenge them because they are afraid of losing elections.”

Pretoria News