File photo: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi
Cape Town – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga should come out and defend public schools against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s baseless attack on them this weekend, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. 

African National Congress presidential-hopeful Dlamini-Zuma claimed it was not surprising that pupils thought the ANC was corrupt and useless because this was what they were being taught at school, DA spokesperson Gavin Davis said. 

"Dlamini-Zuma’s comments can only be interpreted as a direct attack on minister Motshekga, since it’s the minister’s job to ensure that the curriculum is appropriate and that schools are not politicised," he said. 

It was therefore incumbent on Motshekga to set Dlamini-Zuma straight on what was being taught in South African classrooms. If the minister happened to agree with Dlamini-Zuma then she needed to explain how she had allowed public schools to become "a hotbed of anti-ANC sentiment" under her watch. Either way, Motshekga needed to protect the integrity of the school system by making a public statement on the matter. 

"When all is said and done, we know the real reason why people in South Africa think the ANC is corrupt. And it has nothing to do with the school system. People think the ANC is corrupt for the simple reason that the ANC is actually corrupt. No amount of deflection from Dlamini-Zuma or anybody else is going to change that," Davis said. 

Speaking in Sasolburg on Friday, Dlamini-Zuma reportedly raised concerns over a "negative narrative" against the ANC being perpetuated at schools and universities. Pupils were "actually taught against the ANC". It was not surprising that children believed the ANC was corrupt or useless, "because this is what they are fed at school", she said.