“This money is only used by people who speak a certain language. If you think we’re going to shut up, you’re wrong. “
Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for Education in Gauteng, tweeted on Monday about Orania.
He tweeted in a photo of Orania’s “currency” and flag: “This money is only used by people in our country who speak a certain language. They have their own flag and laws. If you think we’re going to shut up, you’re wrong. This craziness must end. It is betrayal of our call for a truly non-racial South Africa. “
Although Lesufi received support, many South Africans accused him and the government of using Orania to divert attention from the real problems in South Africa.
@Safricansfirst writes: “Orania is what should have happened to black people. One Africa project. The economy is circulating in the town. Show me one black neighborhood that has this model. There are so many lessons we can learn from Project Orania. They represent unity and unity. ”
Another user, @ Zama30162777, says: “Black South Africans are suffering in this country, not because of Orania, but because of a corrupt ANC. They plunder state money, appoint foreigners to high positions and do not care about the youth who are drug-fed by their foreign brothers. They allowed foreigners to destroy South Africa. “
Mbulelo Nquru, who supports Lesufi, tweeted: “It makes me sick. I’m sure they have their own army too. “
Joost Strydom, Orania’s spokesperson, says the criticism Orania has received over the past two days is nothing new.
“Orania does not have to be freed. We live our freedom daily by living for something rather than against it. ”
Politicians should not undermine South Africans’ right to live their language and culture, Strydom says.
This is money used in our country only by people who speak a certain language. They also have their own flag and laws. If you think we will keep quiet you are wrong. This madness must come to end. It’s a betrayal of our call for a truly non racial South Africa. #Orania pic.twitter.com/szTXPwScFi— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) June 22, 2020
“We live out our native language and have decolonized transformative English that politicians want to incorporate everywhere.”
He says their community is equipped with factors that are positive for a strong economy: community institutions, a local cash-flowing medium of exchange, good service delivery and a community feeling that does not buy into political upheaval.
“To portray Orania as a problem because our community takes responsibility and thrives on free-market principles is a cheap attention-defender.”
Strydom says comments on social media show that the public “sees through this gimmick”.
Ernst Roets, of AfriForum, says Lesufi is using a stealth strategy to try to advance his political career by driving an anti-African agenda with polarizing statements.
“Lesufi attacking African schools in Gauteng and Orania are examples of this.”