ANC outraged at racist letter from MEC

ANC outraged at racist letter from MEC

17 February 2000

The ANC is absolutely outraged at Education MEC Helen Zille`s assertion that there would be an "outcry" if a white Jewish child would go to Harold Cressy High School, which she assumes is "predominantly Muslim".

The MEC raised her objection to a referral by a Cape Town clinic for the child to be placed at Harold Cressy.

Commenting on the issue, ANC Spokesperson on Education Yousuf Gabru said:

"A rather difficult young man was expelled from Table View High School and taken out of the normal school system for while. On his return the Western Cape Education Department referred him to the Cape Town School Clinic for placement in a school. It is the responsibility of this clinic to advise parents on where to place their children. This is done after careful assessment of the learners.

"In the case of this young man, the psychologist advised that he be placed in one of the following schools: Herzlia, Harold Cressy, Zonnebloem Nest or Milnerton.

"The boy`s mother did not believe that the boy would "fit in" at Herzlia and an appointment was made for her to meet with the principal of Harold Cressy. During the interview the principal agreed to accommodate the boy in spite of the fact that the school was full.

"The mother rejected the offer when she discovered that the school did not offer art. The matter could have ended there and everything would have been fine, but the mother wrote a letter to the MEC complaining about the service rendered by the Cape Town School Clinic.

"When I first saw Zille`s response, I was shocked beyond belief. I have since shown it to several Muslim leaders and discussed it with a number of my Jewish friends and they were equally stunned and appalled.

"Whilst on the one hand the DP is trying to buy influence in the Muslim community, on the other hand they are quite willing to treat them with contempt and insult them as they see fit.

"The ANC will ensure that all those to whom it refers know the contents of the MEC`s letter."

For further comment, contact Yousuf Gabru, Education Spokesperson in the Provincial Legislature: 083-457-5309.

For any media enquiries, contact Provincial Media Officer Gert Witbooi: 082-570-9118.

For a copy of the letter, contact Gert.