They had staged a protest to the Hoërskool Overvaal last week.
Cosas national treasurer Bethuel Zunguza who a week ago made news shouting racially-charged slogans against Afrikaners has told 013NEWS that members of the civil lobby group Afriforum threatened them with a “well-trained army” that they have based in the Free State, Northern and Western Cape.
Zunguza together with a scores of other youths from ANCYL, Cosas and EFF are out on bail after they were arrested for public violence on Wednesday last week.
They were kept at the Vereneeging police station in Gauteng after a protest to the Hoërskool Overvaal demanding the end to the use of Afrikaans turned violent, with others being badly shot with rubber bullets.
The protest were sparked by a High Court ruling that the school cannot accommodate English learners.
The Cosas national treasurer, who hails from the Secunda area of Mpumalanga and who was elected to this position during a Durban national congress in August 2017, is captured in an online video leading one of the groups of students and singing derogatory slogans against Afrikaners and calling for them “to die”.
“This is our country. They must run,” Zunguza shouts in another interview.
“We can’t be abused by whites,” he said.
He said soon afterwards the cops swooped and arrested him.
“They targeted me, I don’t know why,” he told the 013NEWS reporter over the phone, “and the others were arrested also”.
“The police took us in their hippo to the school premises where they paraded us to racist Afrikaner parents who are Afriforum members,” Zunguza charged.
“They asked us what were you trying to do with these things of yours and we said no we want change here,” he said.
“And then they said to me I must be careful with all other blacks because they have a well-trained army in Free State and Western Cape to destroy everybody in this country,” Zunguza said.
Afriforum spokesman Ian Cameron this week said the allegations were “laughable” as Afriforum only has “community patrol units” that works with cops to fight crime.
“Not at all,” he said when asked whether Afriforum does have a military army.
“Only community patrollers. Not such a thing, we don’t have,” he said.
Nationally, South Africa achieved a 75.1% matric pass rate in 2017, with Free State topping the provinces 89.8%.
The South African Student Congress (Cosas) has criticised those learners who failed their matric, saying there is no reason to justify it.
The pupils movement said they aim for a 100% pass rate and doesn’t understand how come South African pupils are still struggling to achieve it.
“We are actually disappointed,” Bethuel Zunguza told the 013NEWS over the phone.
“Yes as NEC we are disappointed, I must clarify that,” the national treasurer said on Wednesday this week.
“Our wish as national structure is that all provinces must get 100%, so you can’t expect us to be happy with these results,” Zunguza said.
“At high schools the education is free and the students also are provided with food, transport, books, chairs, some in rural areas have boarding schools, so there’s no reason for them to fail. Why [do] they fail because everything is there?” Zunguza asked.
“They are playing and we are saying in 2018 Omunye Phez’ Kwencwadi, not this thing of Omunye Phez’ Komunye’, no, no. That’s why they fail,” he said.
“In 2018 we are saying Omunye Phez’ Kwencwadi. We want all our students to study and pass and go to universities to study for free,” he said.
“If you can check in other countries the other students don’t have everything in their disposal but they are doing very well. We have identified a problem in this country that our students don’t take education seriously.
“So it’s high time that we sing the song. We expect each and every school to have everyone passing. What’s the reason for not focusing on your books?” Zunguza said.
The new Cosas leadership was elected in August 2017 during a Durban national congress and elected John Macheke to succeed Zama Khanyase as the President, deputized by Noluthando Sonjalo and Siyabonga Mbokazi as secretary, deputised by Mzwakhe Gwegwe.
“Our task is very simple this year and that is to encourage them to take education very serious,” Zunguza said.
“Our task is go to each and every school and make sure our pupils are studying and nothing disturbs them and they pass at the end of the year. That is our task.
“And the issues of drugs we are very concerned as students. I think that one also is the challenge we are currently faced with and must deal,” he said.
He said they have witnessed a drastic increase in drug abuse by pupils across the country and are themselves now worried.
The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) believes the only way to curb substance abuse in South Africa is through closing the country’s borders.
Its national treasurer Bethuel Zunguza said they believe the new ANC leadership that will emerge in December will do something to ensure the borders are closed.
He delivered the pupils movement’s message of support at the SACP’s Red October rally in Mpumalanga, where Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed as a keynote speaker, on Saturday mid-day and said that they themselves are now worried as these drug-sellers target them who are supposed to be the future of the country.
“Even myself one day I will lead this ANC,” Zunguza said while on stage.
“We believe that the leadership that will be elected in December will make sure that we close our borders and limit the number of foreigners coming to the country.
“Our community is full of outsiders,” he said to applauding crowds in black CR17 t-shirts at the Mbombela rugby stadium.
“These foreigners come here and sell drugs to us young people and police don’t arrest them because they pay them bribes and this thing has become a fashion in our country. Nobody stops it. Instead of it being stopped it gets worse and we have a leadership that is sitting, doing nothing about it. We call on the new President who will take the country after December to close our borders,” Zunguza said.
“Drugs flocking into our country everyday and we know the people who sell these drugs in the townships but police can’t arrest them because they are getting something from them.
“We believe that President (pointing to Ramaphosa) when you take over you will prioritise the issue of drugs because we are the future of this country and these drugs are killing us,” he said.
He said if nobody took this seriously South Africa won’t have a future as the youth would have long been finished by drugs.
The communist rally at the rugby stadium, organised to spearhead Ramaphosa’s campaign for the fiercely contested ANC position of president, also saw SACP national deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi as well as Cosatu national deputy secretary Solly Phetoe. SANCO Mpumalanga deputy secretary Linda Dhlamini also spoke, delivering the organisation’s message of support as well as Thembi Siweya, the NEC member of the ANCYL, delivering the league’s message of support.
The YCL in their message of support called on President Jacob Zuma to not commit the same blunder as Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe of ” imposing” his wife.
“That woman will never be the president of Zimbabwe,” Tinyiko Ntini said.