Looks like the ‘richest nation in Africa’ is quickly losing popularity with its people. If they are not relocating communities for new mining projects, they impose their puppet chiefs onto vulnerable communities. Their public image is very well doctored, always praised for caring for their peoples’ needs. The shocking contrary is true.
Since 2009 it was rumoured that Sue Cook and Bafokeng chief were planning to take control of the public schools around the “Royal Bafokeng Nation”. It was announced on the 04th February 2012 that all 43 schools in the Bafokeng territory have been adopted by the Bafokeng. The Bafokeng will invest R450m in infrastructural maintenance of the schools, (period unknown). On average R10m for each school.
The real concern amongst teachers and communities begs on whether government has relegated its responsibilities in favour of privatisation of public schools. What was wrong with government receiving R450m grant sponsorship from the Bafokeng instead of outsourcing their responsibilities? Has there been a service level agreement signed? Is this agreement authorised by various community councils (makgotla)? Will there be equitable or equal allocation of the budget amongst all Bafokeng schools? Will the Bafokeng impose their questionable ethos into the school curricula? We have read of the recent racist practices at the Lebone II school and how kids are turned into guinea pigs.
Lebone II gets all the attention from the Royal Bafokeng family. It is allocated well over R10m per annum. The school fees are discriminatory, with a huge number of elite Johannesburg and Botswana learners seen registering during the January registration period. It is rumoured that those learners who graduate from the school, able to recite praise poems to the Bafokeng chief, will qualify for Bafokeng citizenship, with plum jobs in Johannesburg-based, Niall Carroll-led ‘Bafokeng’ institutions . Despite all the attention, the learners’ school results have so far been disappointing, while their counterparts at ‘government schools’ have excelled.
It is certain that the spin doctors led by Suzan Cook, Adolph Zietsman, Niall Carroll and George Harris, will continue with their separate development project for the Bafokeng people, paying much attention to the elitist Lebone II, and allocating meagre budgets to ‘government schools’. ‘After a public furore over the Lebone II project, the deceiving R450m investment could just turn out to be another extravagant public image exercise. It is also a power stunt.. the tail wagging the head’, poked the local social activist, Thusi Rapoo. ‘The Bafokeng is renowned for controlling the gullible local organs of state, under the watch and auspices of the Provincial and National Governments’.