ANC holds Zille responsible for learner's lives
Premier Helen Zille and her government carelessly gamble with the lives of innocent Cape school children. If only one learner in Mannenberg dies due to drug wars and gang territorial fights, the blood of that victim will be on the hands of Zille and her henchmen MEC Dan Plato and Donald Grant, says the ANC Western Cape.
The ANC is shocked and enraged by the decision of the DA led Western Cape provincial government to appeal an interdict to reverse an earlier order of the Western Cape High Court that the provincial education department should ensure the safety of schools in the drug infested Manenberg.
Last year Helen Zille announced that she would be investing approximately R5 million in school safety yet only weeks ago the provincial government closed down these schools under the guise of safety concerns.
When five schools on Friday got an order to make sure that those schools and their learners get the protection they deserve, the education department instead used taxpayer money to fight that order and had it set aside. This waste of tax payers money on exhorbitant legal costs could have been better utilized to protect our poor children in Mannenberg.
Helen Zille must also account why the DA has millions to waste on projects like the BRT for white middle class areas and cosmetic communication rebranding, but not to protect our poor black (coloured and African) learners?
We ask Helen Zille why she has shut down the funding of community safety and security projects to protect our learners in these gang ridden areas whilst her MEC's continue cavorting with, funding and feeding known hardened criminals including murderers, drug lords and gang bosses?
Helen Zille must also account for why thousands of learners in our poor gang ridden areas are not at school due to the territorial wars and being unplaced!
Helen Zille must account for her broken promises once again. We ask her whether and what has this money been spent on (R5 million), and if so, where has this money been spent, for it's certainly not in Mannenberg?
We ask her to account for how much of this money has instead gone to private security projects in the historically middle class white areas such as Observatory whilst innocent black (coloured and african) children die or are wounded every year in gang areas due to stray bullets in and around their schools? The known cycle of violence must be broken and patrols of the police and other security institutions together with community safety and security structures are needed to keep the criminals at bay.
ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman says: "It is a travesty that our poor children in Manenberg are now at the mercy of hardened criminals including, murderers, rapists and drug lords. It is reckless and utterly irresponsible that the very department which has a duty to look after and educate our children in the absence of the parents, then goes to the court to overturn what is basically a protection order to force the department to do its job to guarantee that teaching continues wiithout hinderance.
"The ANC will ensure Zille accounts for the harm to life and limb as well as property of every learner and teacher in these schools in areas where bullets fly in school time. Heaven forbid, but if any harm comes to them, then Zille and her cohorts will have on their hands the blood of every child that is injured or killed. Politically the buck stops with her as she allows her administration to continue its war against the poor."
Since Zille and the DA government have consistantly shown that they don't care about the safety of our poor black ( coloured and african) learners lives, as the ANC we will be deploying all our public representatives next week to our historically disadvanteged schools in order to assess the problems and develop immediate, short,medium and long term sustainable solutions through direct nnational government interventions.This will include the return of community based schools safety and security projects including the deployment of thousands of street committees and neighborhood watches that once upon a time successfully protected our learners.
The ANC together with the Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign will also be jointly convening a community meeting in Mannenberg with all the relevant stakeholders and affected parties including students, teachers and parents to develop an immediate intervention plan and programme of action.
In addition we will be setting up a hotline effective as of next week in which all our poorer communities affected by the problem of thousands of learners who are currently not in school can report it.
The ANC says together we move the Western Cape and South Africa forward! The DA takes us backwards!
Statement issued by the ANC Western Cape, February 27 2014
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