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Statement of NYDA Executive Chairperson on Hoerskool Overvaal
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has noted with disgust and complete outrage scenes currently unfolding in what is now becoming a symbol of apartheid, Hoerskool Overvaal. The School Governing Body (SGB) has rejected the application of English speaking learners who are from surrounding areas, citing Afrikaans as a medium of instruction as a reason. We find this completely unacceptable, uncouth and reminiscent of Hendrik Verwoerd’s policy of imposing Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in order to sustain apartheid and Afrikaner Male superiority.
The NYDA has also noted the judgement by the court on the matter, we are calling on the Gauteng Department of Education to appeal the judgement as it seeks to create racially exclusive schools in this country which is against the spirit and letter of our democratic constitution.
According to NYDA Executive Chairperson, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni “The country emerged from a painful past, where the majority of our people were oppressed using education as a tool to further impose a racist ideology which was discredited as a crime against humanity. Current scenes at the school are reminiscent of the June 16, 1976 uprisings where students across the country fought and defeated the imposition of Afrikaans as a sole medium of instruction. We are saddened that 24 years into our democratic dispensation, characterised by a constitution that recognizes our unity in diversity, you find racially exclusive schools that seek to impose the same Afrikaans that was used to unleash the wrath of the students in this country”.
We support activists who are correctly demonstrating against this apartheid style admission policy of the school and we call on the police to exercise restraint when dealing with protestors. While we call for peaceful demonstrations, the scenes where youth activists are shot and hospitalized are a worrying factor and we will seek audience with the leadership of the police in order to engage on the matter.
“We will also, as an agency representing the youth in this country, seek a meeting with the School Governing Body to try and persuade them to reconsider their admission policy because continuation of the current policy will take our country back when it was moving swiftly forward” says Mtsweni.
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Issued by the National Youth Development Agency
19 January 2018