Maritz College violating learners freedom of expression - EFF

Olwethu Shelembe and Yamkela Mbabama charged with misconduct over their support for the Fighters


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The EFF expresses its unconditional support for Olwethu Shelembe and Yamkela Mbabama who were charged with misconduct by Maritzburg High for expressing their support for EFF and its vision. These two fighters are academically excellent students who are in their matric year. In fact, they will start to write their matric exams next week. 

The school has charged them, threatening them with expulsion for declaring that EFF is their last hope for the return of the land. In addition, they expressed how they cannot wait for 2019 to cast their vote for the economic emancipation movement. For this reason, the school management has served them with charges, even arguing that they are racist. 

We reject this as pure apartheid, Nazi and colonial thinking on the part of the school. In our democracy, there is no bylaw, rule or school code of conduct that must be inconsistent with our supreme law of the land; the constitution. Maritzburg High, by charging our young fighters, is in direct violation of the constitution. It is offending their rights to freedom of expression. 

The young men have not killed anyone, stolen anything or caused any physical harm. They have simply expressed an idea and by suppressing them, the school is not only anti-intellectual but also scared of the truth. By charging them, the school is seeking to guarantee protection to the reactionary and anti-black racists who refuse to see blacks as equals and as rightful owners of the land. The school is dancing to white supremacist tunes, thus reproducing itself as hostile to our democratic order. 

The EFF wants to send a strong warning to Maritzburg High that we are ready to defend the democratic rights of our supporters with any revolutionary means possible. We demand that they drop their reactionary and unconstitutional charges with immediate effect or face the full might of our mass power. 

The black child has a freedom to express their thoughts anywhere in this county without any fear or favour. This freedom, which is also the freedom of Olwethu Shelembe and Yamkela Mbabama, has long been paid with blood over centuries of our liberation struggle. 

The school must drop the charges and allow the young people to focus on their exams without any disciplinary hearing hanging over their heads. 

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 14 October 2017