DA: KZN committee chairperson

Chairperson of the Education Portfolio committee Hon. Ntuthuko Sibiya / Image via Twitter: KZN Education

DA: KZN committee chairperson takes a ‘backseat’ in the COVID-19 fight

The DA in KZN calls on the chairperson of the education committee to lead the charge against COVID-19 in school

DA: KZN committee chairperson

Chairperson of the Education Portfolio committee Hon. Ntuthuko Sibiya / Image via Twitter: KZN Education

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has accused the chairperson of the education committee in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) of taking a “backseat” instead of leading COVID-19 oversight visits to schools as more grades are phased in.

Imran Keeka, DA’s member of the provincial legislature in KZN penned a scathing letter to Ntuthuko Sibiya, who chaired the education portfolio committee.

In the letter, which was seen by The South African, Keeka expressed concerns that the committee had not visited a single school after the Grade 6 and 11 pupils were phased in last week, joining grade 7 and 12.


“I am very worried that there is no indication that this will take place,” read the letter.  

While Keeka lauded Sibiya for previously leading the committee well during any crisis in schools, he added that he was now sitting on his laurels.  

“I am not sure if the EPC (Education Portfolio Committee) will be visiting any schools anytime soon, to see for ourselves, or if we have any plan to do this when other grades will be phased-in in coming days,” said Keeka.

He said he was hopeful that Sibiya would provide clarity on the matter soon.       

Dr Keeka said he was worried that this recent “lost opportunity” might allow matters to slip when the phasing in of other Grades, set for next month, took place.

“For the committee to take a backseat while mayors, local and district command councils perform inspections at schools, should never be the case given that the primary responsibility of the committee is oversight in terms of education in KZN,” said Keeka.


His parting shot was that:

“The DA will continue to ask the hard questions of those who are in high office, at all levels, because we are committed to good governance and accountability. If anyone challenges this, they will expose themselves as being possibly desirous of hiding things or protecting skullduggery – a situation which cannot be allowed.”

Sibiya simply dismissed Keeka as “politicking” using a national crisis of COVID-19. Keeka’s letter comes as the government was slowly opening up schools after closure following President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed national lockdown in March.


However, there’s been an ongoing tug-of-war between those who are against the opening of schools and those who are in support.  

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and his One Movement was among those calling for schools to remain closed until it was safer. On Friday 10 July, he called for a stay away by teachers and learners.