NEWS & ANALYSIS

SGB elections not ANC branch meetings – DA NCape

Messages display an arrogant indifference to the hard-won political freedoms of our people

SGB elections not ANC branch meetings

6 April 2021

Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English & Afrikaans from Priscilla Isaacs, MPL.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape requested an investigation by the Public Service Commission into the alleged political interference by high-ranking ANC officials into the current round of school governing body (SGB) elections in the Northern Cape.

This comes after I received screenshots of a recent conversation held on an ANC WhatsApp group.

The first message is sent from the official number of the ANC’s provincial secretary, Deshi Ngxanga. It tells the MEC for Education, Zolile Monakali, that “our branches are not ready for the SGBs” and asks him to “please get a way to delay them a bit”. In response, the MEC for Education asks which regions are affected and the reply from Mr. Ngxanga is that “in the whole province, the opposition will win these SGBs and we won’t be able to influence how our schools are managed”.

Political affiliation of parents or guardians should not be a determining factor in any SGB election. SGB elections are not ANC branch meetings, after all, and these messages display an arrogant indifference to the hard-won political freedoms of our people.

It is ironic that the provincial regulations on SGB elections, gazetted in February by this same MEC, prohibits this kind of conduct too. No person may abuse a position of power or privilege to influence the outcome of an election.

SGBs are vital to the administration and functioning of schools. Their powers include decisions over school policy, language, codes of conduct, and subjects offered by a school. The DA will not allow any undue political interference in their work.

Issued by Priscilla Isaacs, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson on Education, 6 April 2021