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'Eastern Cape Education MEC showing us the middle finger' Uitenhage marchers told

By Afikile Lugunya - Feb 21, 2019
'Eastern Cape Education MEC showing us the middle finger' Uitenhage marchers told

"This MEC of Education is new, brand new from the box yet he is undermining us," said one of the organisers of a march that took place in Uitenhage on Thursday.

The march comes after the parents of learners at three schools in Uitenhage - Thubhili Primary School, Winterberg Primary School and Gamble Street Secondary School, threatened to shut down the schools in a demand better infrastructure at the schools.

Addressing marchers at the Uitenhage Town Hall, Mgcini Mejane did not hide his anger after Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Mlungisi Mvoko, failed to pitch up to meet with the parents -  despite a promise he would do so from his office.

"The Department of Education is showing us the middle finger," Mejane said as the crowd agreed.

MEC Mvoko given 24 hours to give answers to the marchers

They said that Mvoko had only 24 hours to respond to their demands and if he continues to show "arrogance then hell would break loose".

"He is undermining us and we must take action, first by going to our general meetings to discuss a way forward Comrades.

"We have also come to an agreement as the stakeholders and the SGB's at the three schools that we are are giving him 24 hours - otherwise we are going to close shop," he added.

"We are going to start with the district department and we will close it and the three schools. 

"This is very clear now that the MEC is undermining us as the working class and he doesn't care about the education."

An SGB member at Jubhile Park Primary School, who was also part of the march, Keith Portgiter, said: "Enough is enough of this system.

"The building is over 100 years old and is falling apart. There was money in put in place for that school to be refurbished, but it just disappeared.

"One person not doing his job in the department fails the entire department and we are saying that employ those, who are willing to work."

He added; "The department of education is undermining us while we were the ones who put them in those offices."

Among the marchers were members of the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP), which was launched by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) last year and will be contesting in the upcoming 2019 National and Provincial elections in May.

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