Lesufi refutes ‘bring back corporal punishment’ reports, heads to Press Ombudsman

Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi has refuted media reports which stated that he wants corporal punishment returned to schools.

According to a statement issued by the Gauteng Department of Education, the claim came about after Lesufi’s visit to Fred Norman Secondary School in Edenvale on Tuesday.

A parent asked a question following a racism incident, which took place last week Friday.

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The department further disclosed that the MEC was asked by community members if corporal punishment should be enforced since there are many cases of ill-discipline reported across Gauteng schools.

Lesufi responded by saying that it is the community’s democratic right to review certain education policies if they wish to do so.

However, he never advocated or supported the administration of corporal punishment in any way, according to the department.

During the meeting, Lesufi was asked how discipline could be brought back to schools.

“When you say discipline, you say the cane. Let’s be honest, you are putting it nicely, it’s the cane, and I say if government is a government of people, it must listen to the people,” he said.

Lesufi, however, seemed to be aware that his comments were controversial.

“But I am for the strong review of that. I know I differ with many people, I differ with human rights people. If you can’t install the authority of the teacher, you have no education,” he added.

READ MORE: ANC Gauteng condemns attacks and threats on Panyaza Lesufi

The MEC insinuated that the previous articles may have been an agenda or a personal vendetta.

“The review of a certain policy has never been equated to the support of a particular view. This story was deliberately misconstrued by a journalist who has developed years of hatred for me and the Department to such an extent that he always distorts the information we share with him in our responses,” he said.

Meanwhile, the department has since commenced the process of laying a formal complaint with the Press Ombudsman.

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