Jacques Smalle (MPL)
DA Limpopo Provincial Leader
The DA has noted with great disappointment and concern the attempt by Premier Stanley Mathabatha to suppress his government’s critics at the expense of their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech.
The Premier lambasted a union leader who expressed his lack of confidence in the Department to deliver an 80% pass rate for the province’s matriculants arguing that without this goal the province would not have achieved an increase in pass rates from 71.8% to 72.9%.
Coming out in the harshest terms possible and considering the union leader’s opinions as an ‘insult’ is a direct infringement of the Constitution which states that 15. (1):
“Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.”
Section 16 .(1) contains detailed provisions with regard to freedom of expression, stating:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of the press and other media; freedom to receive or impart information or ideas”
Leading a government that only improved its matric results by the slightest margin while only producing a staggering 22.4% of bachelor passes, the Premier cannot take offense at constructive criticism.