Westville pupils have the right to freedom of expression

Sizwe Mchunu MPP

DA Leader in KwaZulu-Natal

The ANC’s response to the t-shirts produced by Westville pupils as part of an art exhibition is excessive, hysterical and not in line with our constitution.

These learners have the right to express themselves in whatever way they want to. This right is enshrined in our constitution as the right to freedom of expression.

Our democracy and our country is much stronger when people are allowed to express differing opinions without fear of retribution. That is what true freedom is all about.

The DA does not necessarily endorse the message produced by the pupils at Westville Boys’ High – and we certainly had nothing to do with producing or encouraging the art as the ANC has suggested. But we support the right of every South African to express their opinions freely.

If learners had decided to express a negative opinion about DA, we would not have complained about it. It is their good right to do so.

The ANC seems to have developed a hyper-sensitivity about being criticised. Anyone who does so is attacked in the strongest possible terms by ANC leaders across all media outlets. It is excessive and uncalled for. It is frankly laughable that the ANC feels this threatened by the handiwork of a few teenagers.

We live in a democratic society. That means people are allowed to criticise political leaders. I suggest the ANC get used to it and rather work on making government work.

Perhaps if the ANC delivered, people would be less inclined to criticize.