[LISTEN] Lesufi 'waging war on Afrikaans' - Afriforum

The Gauteng government's being accused of trying to 'weed out' Afrikaans as a language of instruction in its schools.

The charge comes from Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging and Afriforum who claim Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is discriminating against Afrikaans schools.

The organisations say Lesufi has converted 119 schools that were either Afrikaans or dual-medium to English-medium.

Bongani Bingwa spoke to Afriforum's legal spokesperson Willie Spies.

This is how the conversation went:

Bingwa: Is Afrikaans under siege in Gauteng?

Spies: Absolutely; it is absolutely under siege. And the pity about the news of coloured schools being targeted by Lesufi is the fact that the coloured community is one of the most disadvantaged communities within our country. It is the community which delivers the lowest rates of university students.

Bingwa: What do you say to the argument that a lot of formerly Afrikaans medium schools are schools of privilege that exclude other disadvantaged communities from participating in the same kind of education; and that if you make the system accessible to everyone you are leveling the playing field, do you accept that?

Spies: Well it is simply not true; for the very simple reason that I know of no single Afrikaans school that is a public school which is exclusively white. All of them do have black and coloured pupils; obviously they are less; but that's a matter of choice. If people choose not to study in Afrikaans that is their choice.

Bingwa put the allegations to Panyaza Lesufi who refuted the claims and says it is the parents on SGBs who decide on the conversion of schools.

Afrikaans is one of the official languages to be protected and to be defended. Any person that says Afrikaans is under threat is trying to promote something that is not there.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng MEC for Education

What we are saying is that where the demographics around a school have changed, we'll then request that it be a dual medium which simply means that those who want to continue in Afrikaans will continue to be taught in Afrikaans.

Listen to the full interview below


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