Johannesburg - There was outrage on Thursday after Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi shared images showing an effigy of him being paraded and eventually hung outside the Basic Education Department's Pretoria offices.
On Wednesday, the MEC shared a picture on Twitter showing two white men holding an effigy of him and then proceeding to hang it.
Lesufi explained that the "morons" came to "hang" him and added that "We defeated your racists grandparents, you are nothing!"
These morons came to our offices to “hang” me! We defeated your racists grandparents, you are nothing! pic.twitter.com/ovtr3CavbV— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) April 25, 2018
This drew the ire of social media and civil society, with many slamming the incident and expressing their continued support of the MEC.
Lesufi on Thursday morning, said that the incident was the latest in a series of attacks against him over his efforts to equalise education.
The MEC in an interview with 702, explained how the entire scenario played out.
These morons came to our offices to “hang” me! We defeated your racists grandparents, you are nothing! pic.twitter.com/hqH5fGRibJ— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) April 25, 2018
"There's an organisation that has been threatening me for quite some time. I don't understand because I've never been anti-Afrikaans, I've never been pro-exclusion.
"I only believe that all languages must be treated equally and all our children must study together. When they went to the office of the minister, I really felt that they'd crossed the line."
Lesufi went on to explain previous harassment levelled against him, ranging from having his car blocked, being insulted at malls and having his children also intimidated.
All this, Lesufi claimed he was able to stomach, but stressed that the latest act was a step too far. He added that while he intends to take the matter forward, the focus should not be shifted from ensuring children receive quality education.
Hendrick Makaneta, the deputy chairperson of Education for Social Justice Foundation (ESJF) meanwhile, said the organisation was disturbed by the incident and expressed concern for the MEC's safety.
"The foundation is concerned that Lesufi continues to be subjected to racial threats by opponents of unity and cohesion who are trying to do everything in their power to undermine progress that has been registered, particularly for school learners since 1994.
"The foundation appeals to government to beef up security measures in order to protect the MEC from anarchists who are extremely opposed to the much needed integration of Afrikaans and English schools across the province."IOL