Oh boy, AfriForum’s war of words with Panyaza Lefusi is getting ugly

Panyaza Lesufi AfriforumWe can’t see these guys making each others’ Christmas card lists this year. AfriForum have again reignited their feud with Panyaza Lesufi on Friday.

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They don’t like him and he doesn’t like them: AfriForum have made it clear that they’re outraged with Panyaza Lesufi’s return to the education department in Gauteng, just 48 hours after he seemed to be departing from the portfolio.

After a mixed reaction to his decision to appoint Panyaza Lesufi as Gauteng’s finance MEC, Premier David Makhura has now decided to leave him in charge of education.

Gauteng hokey-cokey

Lesufi had built a reputation for himself by revamping education in the Province since he was first appointed to the position five years ago. However, he was briefly facing a fresh challenge as the MEC of finance and e-government. It took two days for Makhura to reverse the decision, giving Gauteng its own “Des van Rooyen” moment.

What may have raised a chuckle – or even a sigh of relief – for some has proved to be a thorn in the side of AfriForum, though. Carien Bloem is their Project Coordinator for Education, and she blasted Lesufi’s return as a “tragic” decision, citing his “disdain for Afrikaans-speaking people”:

“This is absolutely tragic because as long as Panyaza Lesufi is at the helm of education in Gauteng, education in Gauteng will not be approached fairly.”

“The battle for mutual recognition and respect for each other will continue, despite the development of our children. AfriForum will continue fighting for mother-tongue education and opposing Lesufi’s ideal to anglicise all schools in Gauteng.”

Panyaza Lesufi vs AfriForum – where did it all begin?

Ouch. Both parties have had an almighty falling out over the implementation of schooling in Afrikaans. Panyaza Lesufi has tried to move certain schools to a different mother tongue, irking the Afrikaner community in the process.

With neither side seeing eye-to-eye, it’s likely they will be at loggerheads for the remainder of his five-year term. Lesufi was also branded a “failure” for unsuccessfully trying to create a registration system for Grade 1 – 8 pupils.

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