schools ramaphosa address

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ANCYL, COSAS call for closure of private schools due to COVID-19

The ANCYL and Cosas have accused Charterhouse and other private schools of committing genocide by reopening schools ahead of schedule.

schools ramaphosa address

Image via: Adobe Stock

The Congress of South African Students (COSAS) alongside the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) have taken it upon themselves to block the reopening of private schools in the country ahead of schedule, demonstrating outside Charterhouse — an independent school in Roodepoort, Gauteng — on Tuesday, 26 January.


Government recently gave private schools the go-ahead to resume schooling on 1 February, two weeks ahead of public schools. Despite this ruling of sorts some independent schools, like Charterhouse, have decided to go ahead and reopen ahead of time, a move that has resulted in the demonstrations.

Cosas and the ANCYL have gone as far as accusing independent schools like Charterhouse of genocide, due to them operating in the midst of a pandemic.


The ANCYL’s Lindokuhle Xulu was seen on eNCA telling media that private school management disrespect government’s regulations and instructions, willfully doing what they want.

“People are dying and we must save lives. It cannot be that we have schools that operate outside the mandate of the government. We must have one academic calender or one educational system”.

Lindokuhle Xulu

Some South Africans have scoffed at the ANCYL’s assertion that the reopening of schools not only endangers the lives of scholars but is tantamount to genocide as uninformed remarks.

Meanwhile, Trade Union Solidarity has recently issued the Department of Basic Education (DBE) with a lawyer’s letter regarding the reopening and closing of independent schools.  

Solidarity is essentially questioning the legality of the department’s directives regarding independent schools’ opening dates, and according to them, the department has no say in the dates on which independent schools should open or close.

Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann said; “the pandemic is going to last for a long time and an unlawful decision now may set a precedent for abuse of power in the future.”

In its lawyer’s letter, Solidarity informed DBE Minister Angie Motshekga that she does not have the powers to issue directives compelling independent schools to those actions, noting that those powers vest only with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.