November 8, 2015

And who says racism isn't alive and doing well in the "new South Africa"? No whites please ~MEC

A senior government official faces being hauled over the coals after ignoring an instruction, allegedly from his political principal, not to invite white children to a state-sponsored youth event.
That official is Masiza Mazizi, head of youth development in the department of social development and special programmes in Bhisho.
HOT GATHERING: Participants get into the spirit of things at the youth camp near Port Alfred last month. The white faces may be a thing of the past if the MEC has her way Picture: David MACGREGOR
HOT GATHERING: Participants get into the spirit of things at the youth camp near Port Alfred last month. The white faces may be a thing of the past if the MEC has her way Picture: David MACGREGOR
The office of MEC Nancy Sihlwayi has now written to him asking him to explain why he ignored the instruction and went ahead when the MEC had instructed white children were not to be invited. The letter is signed by Sihlwayi’s chief of staff, Sakhekile Ndudula. It is not clear if Mazizi has already responded.
“The youth camps this year were marred by controversy. This stems from the report you [Mazizi] submitted that there should be 10 members from the white community who were expected to attend,” wrote Ndudula.
“The MEC gave an instruction that this should not happen as poverty and underdevelopment is rife in African communities. Despite this, it is alleged your office ignored the instruction. You are requested to explain why this happened.”
The camp in Port Alfred was attended by about 200 disadvantaged youths from around the province. Of the 200, only six were white.
Social development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi
Social development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi
Sihlwayi did not answer calls from the Dispatch this week. This is despite one of her aides promising she would respond.
The MEC also failed to respond to two texted messages sent to her phone yesterday.
None of the department’s spokesmen responded to e-mailed questions either. Ndudula refused to comment yesterday. “Ask Mazizi or [departmental spokesman Gcobani] Maswana,” he said.
Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle’s spokeswoman Nomfanelo Kota said they had asked Sihlwayi’s office for clarification.
“We can’t comment until we get this confirmed … if it has happened or not,” said Kota.
Mazizi, who cannot confirm or deny that the letter exists, said: “I do not discuss internal departmental issues in the media.”
Employees of the department this week described the instruction as embarrassing and an attempt to exclude certain groups from participating in government programmes, based on race.
“The person who recommended her for this position must come and remove her. This reminds us of apartheid where black people were excluded in many developmental issues,” said the source.
Sihlwayi’s instruction appears to ignore her own department’s stated aims for the youth camps, which are held annually.
A concept document, signed by her own superintendent-general, Stanley Khanyile, on September 9, says the focus of the camps should be to facilitate social cohesion and nation-building. It insists that youth from all racial groups should attend.
This is in line with another document from the national Department of Social Development, which also says all races must be represented in the camps.
Controversy seems to follow Sihlwayi at every corner. Since taking over she has been accused of:
Nepotism after she insisted her half-sister be included on a list of needy youths the department was sponsoring to study at Rhodes University.
Using government funds to pay for ANC Women’s League veterans to attend a Women’s Day celebration in the Free State.
Favouritism following her decision to appoint a person of her choice over someone highly recommended for a senior position.
ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said he could not immediately comment on the latest matter “until we get more information from relevant people within that department”.
DA provincial leader Veliswa Mvenya said she has seen the situation coming as she had, on numerous occasions, warned Sihlwayi to watch her mouth.
“When she sees white people she always associates them with the DA and they end up not getting what they deserve to get from the government. I warned her to differentiate between government work and ANC work,” said Mvenya.
The youths invited to the camps come, mostly, from poor backgrounds.
The camps are designed to take participants aged 18-24 years out of their comfort zones, encouraging team work, social cohesion, leadership and cross-cultural interaction.
Another source said it was sad that people of other races were now excluded as poverty in South Africa knew no race.
“We have poor people in white communities. Must we exclude them? We can’t,” said the source, who is also an employee of the department of social development.

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