Several members of parliament yesterday took the ANC to task about the destruction of Vuwani schools in a snap debate in the National Assembly.
More than 20 schools were burnt down or severely damaged in the Limpopo protests.
Opening the debate, Democratic Alliance MP Kevin Mileham said the ANC should publicly condemn the actions of their councillor who was reported to have been involved in the torching of the schools, “and take disciplinary steps”.
The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Floyd Shivambu said communities should not be drawn into internal ANC squabbles.
He said: “Direct that anger at the ANC and the correct platform to do so is August 3, during the local government elections.”
Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said education “remains an island of hope” in South Africa and took a swipe at State Security Minister David Mahlobo.
Hlengwa said the minister was failing in his duties.
“Your intelligence services are very weak. It cannot be that 27 schools are burnt. It speaks to shortcomings in the system. Every effort must be made to beef up the intelligence services.
“This is totally unacceptable.”
ANC MP Nomalungelo Gina said the party ought to work to protect the education system in Limpopo from further disruption.
“The situation in Vuwani has paralysed the stability in our schools and it is, indeed, a disaster,” she said.
“Plus or minus 60 000 learners, of which 2 006 are in grade 12 … their rights have been violated and this is a very painful thing to talk of. We must make sure that what we have seen happen in Vuwani, it does not repeat itself in a another area in the country.”
Mahlobo said “the phenomenon of burning schools, libraries and university buildings in the name of voicing grievances cannot be tolerated”.
Government had provided 75 mobile classrooms in the area.
The violence in Vuwani began after the Limpopo High Court, at the end of April, ruled in favour of the Municipal Demarcation Board against an application by some Vuwani residents.
The residents wanted the area reinstated into the Makhado municipality and not incorporated into the new Malamulele municipality.