IFP slams Zuma over plans for teen moms

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The IFP says the ANC is fast becoming nothing more than an engine room of bizarre statements and incomprehensible policies.

Yesterday IFP education spokesman Alfred Mpontshane said the call by ANC president Jacob Zuma, for the babies of young women who fall pregnant to be taken away and returned only once they were educated, was "outrageous."

Zuma also called for youths who play truant to be taken off the streets by force and sent to far-flung boarding schools.

He said this was in line with the ANC's commitment to make education compulsory for all South Africans.

Mpontshane said Zuma's calls were "outrageous", "discriminatory" and "ill-conceived".

"Forced separation of mother and child would deny the natural bonding process, halt the development of parental responsibility, orphan the child, burden the family and increase the cost to the state." Mpontshane said.

He accused Zuma of having "a poor grasp of the basic principles of social development and education".

Education and legal experts have also slammed Zuma's plan.

Salim Vally of the Wits University education policy unit said Zuma's statements were "punitive to the point where they are akin to clearing the streets of beggars to create a good image, while the root causes of poverty remain".

"The dropout rate is very high but it is not because kids want to drop out," Vally said. "There are factors such as poverty, lack of resources in schools, and problems in the classroom."