By Dr Dirk Hermann
Lesufi is that controversial MEC whose mission in life it is to get rid of Afrikaans in schools. Just recently, everyone was stunned that R431 million was spent to sanitise schools that had been closed at the time. He said in his response that he was shocked and disgusted by it and that heads would roll; however, all heads still seem to be unscathed.
This Sunday we read in Rapport and City Press about a sound recording in which Lesufi says, among other things, that it is his responsibility to see to it that tenders satisfy his people. He also said that officials should make sure they find out in good time when governing bodies advertise tenders. Aha! This offers a little more perspective on the sanitising work worth R431 million and the fact that heads did not roll.
This recording dares not be taken lightly.
Thousands of Solidarity members and other teachers give their all to offer excellent education to children and this they do in extremely difficult circumstances. While they are teaching, the MEC for education has a hand in plundering their resources. This is a crime against teachers, children and parents.
Panyaza Lesufi should be suspended with immediate effect. Lesufi and his cadres became plunderers under the guise of a government.
The Constitution prescribes an effective public service and not effective cadre empowerment. If Lesufi is not suspended, cadre deployment is condoned. Ramaphosa and the ANC cannot ask some to stand while others continue to plunder in an unperturbed way.
This weekend, Solidarity’s legal team has already started with an investigation into various options by which to hold Lesufi accountable for his statements. The statements point to a gross violation of the Constitution by a member of a province’s executive council (an MEC). The Constitution requires of an MEC to act ethically in accordance with applicable legislation. The Constitution also states that an MEC may not use information at his disposal to enrich himself and to improperly benefit any other person. MECS may not act in any way that results in a conflict of interest either. The recording points prima facie to a serious constitutional violation that makes Lesufi unfit for office.
Now we learn that Lesufi is denying all these evil allegations.
Mere denial does not wipe out the content of the recordings. Any politician would deny such an allegation. Denial is in the genes of any plunderer.
The denial of a suspect in a case does not make him innocent. It does, however, confirm that a proper, independent investigation needs to be undertaken. However, the seriousness of this allegation is such that it justifies suspension pending an investigation.
I am also a parent, and like thousands of other parents I do not want my children’s education to be plundered.
The man just has to go.