News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
4 Apr 2018
2:35 pm

School books in SA aren’t truthful about Winnie and the struggle – SACP

Makhosandile Zulu

The SACP's spokesperson says the history curriculum requires a major revamp.

South African Communist Party (SACP) spokesperson Alex Mashilo said in the wake of Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s passing this week that commentary from various organisations and other sectors of society have made significant omissions.

“They are leaving out the torture she endured. The pain that the apartheid regime visited on her,” Mashilo said on Radio 702 today.

He said it was for this reason that the curriculum in South African schools, in particular the history syllabus, needed to be carefully and accurately documented to reflect the country’s true past.

“There is a problem … some curriculum amendments were done in 1994 with regards to history – that was completely not enough,” he said.

Mashilo said elements of apartheid propaganda were still contained within the present-day syllabus of South African schools.

“For example, when they teach you about communism, they are not teaching you about the role that was played by leaders of the Communist Party in South Africa and the party itself towards the liberation of our country and the establishment of the democracy that we have,” he said.

He said pupils were instead being taught about Joseph Stalin; this content was informed by the globally popular propaganda about the Soviet Union leader.

“These are South African learners in South African schools; they are not being taught about how this democracy came about,” he said.

The SACP spokesperson added that when pupils are taught about the late former president Nelson Mandela it was almost as if he was never the leader of the ruling party, the African National Congress.

“The history curriculum just requires a major revamp to recognise an accurate account of what happened. Why did we arrive where we are? How did we arrive where we are? What was the problem? How many people did the apartheid regime murder? How many people disappeared? How many were discovered?” Mashilo said.

He said it was important for pupils to know this history so that it is not repeated.

Mashilo said it was highly likely that a month after the Mother of the Nation had been laid to rest she would have been forgotten and not a word about her would be uttered.

He added that the same fate befell the memory of a veteran struggle hero who was laid to rest about two weeks ago – Sechaba Charles Setsubi.

“There are many other veterans we have buried. I can tell you, they do not feature anywhere when we talk about South Africa because of the discord that is dominant in our country,” Mashilo said.


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