Challenge accepted: Panyaza Lesufi and Mmusi Maimane to inspect Covid-19 readiness at school of One SA leader's choice

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he had no problem with accepting the challenge to inspect a school to determine its readiness to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he had no problem with accepting the challenge to inspect a school to determine its readiness to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has accepted Mmusi Maimane's challenge to conduct a walkabout at a school of Maimane's choice and inspect its readiness on Thursday.

The challenge comes after the One SA Movement leader's request to not reopen schools was dismissed on Friday by the Constitutional Court.

In his application, Maimane cited issues with readiness and said the government should only consider reopening schools after another three months.

Lesufi said he had no problem with taking on Maimane's challenge.

He also told News24 he was willing to provide Maimane with some “excitement” since he was “bored”.

“Remember, he is no longer a leader of a political party so he has a lot of time on his hands. Boredom, sometimes, is a very difficult thing. I've cancelled Thursday for him.”

In his response, Maimane said he was pleased to see Lesufi was ready to put his words into action.

“I'm going to ignore all the shade you are throwing because I don't politicise education. This is an important thing, making sure that every child in Gauteng has the best school that is Covid-19 ready,” said Maimane.

Maimane said he would not let Lesufi know the name of the school for their meeting, suggesting that would give him a chance to cover up his tracks.

“We will do a walkabout when kids are at school so we can see for ourselves if there is enough social distancing, enough sanitisation and many other measures we are checking  for Covid-19 readiness.”

Maimane urged parents to use the WhatsApp hotline his movement created for concerned parents and pupils to report “preparedness gaps” at schools.

“Use our WhatsApp line and communicate. I will look at all the images and pick a school to visit based on what I see.”


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