Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Despite perceived to be doing sterling work in some quarters, a board member of the FW de Klerk Foundation has, through an open letter, cast doubt on Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s work.

Last month Lesufi was moved back to the education department by Gauteng Premier David Makhura because some members of the public felt that he was doing a sterling job before he was moved to the finance department. 

In the article posted on the foundation’s website late on Monday, Theuns Eloff, who chairs the advisory board, said Lesufi frequently crosses the line as political head of the department and plays chief executive officer “and then makes pronouncements about anything and everything.”

Continuing his tirade, Eloff alleged that Lesufi also often shoots from the hip.

“Should Mr Lesufi get a pass for this? Judge for yourself... Granted, his media profile is sky-high and he looks and sounds like he 'does something' … but the facts prove the opposite.

“Of course, among Afrikaans-speaking people, Mr Lesufi is more notorious, especially concerning his attitude towards Afrikaans in Gauteng’s public schools. He and his supporters insist that he has nothing against Afrikaans as a language of instruction in schools, he is merely focused on integration,” he wrote further.

In what appears to have been sparked by Lesufi’s stance on Afrikaans only schools, Eloff alleged that Lesufi, is destroying multilingualism. He then alleged that Lesufi was defeating inter-group relations efforts and was dangerous to the ANC. 

“If it is a priority for President Ramaphosa to be a President for all South Africans, Mr Lesufi’s attitude and statements are an insurmountable obstacle in his way. He has the dubious honour of being the one person with the ability to polarise moderate Afrikaans-speaking people of all races, to alienate them from the ANC and government, and raise suspicions around their commitment to multilingualism and mother-tongue education.”

Political Bureau