Johannesburg – Mamphela Ramphele says the education crisis is not Hendrik Verwoerd’s fault but that of the current government, The Star reported on Monday.
The anti-apartheid activist was responding to a statement by President Jacob Zuma in which he said Verwoerd was responsible for the current mess in schools.
Ramphele said children were better taught under apartheid’s "gutter" education system than they were today.
“By jove, at least the kids could write and read. And many of them understood history and understood geography,” she said.
Ramphele also criticised the government for its handling of the textbook crisis.
"There’s no excuse why any child anywhere should not have textbooks, let alone thousands upon thousands of children whose futures are being destroyed on our watch," Mamphela Ramphele said at a speech at the Educational Management Association conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Ramphele added that she could not understand why no one had been fired over the textbook crisis or why more ordinary citizens were not protesting against the poor education of students.
She argued that some of South Africa’s leaders did not have the credentials to be in government.
Ramphele compared the country unfavourably to Asian nations who she said appointed experts as ministers.
"Look at us. Give me a profile of our Cabinet and tell me whether or not the capacity to intervene and direct is there. You can’t even deliver textbooks," Ramphele said.