Speech on the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill [B2D-2022]
Speech by ACDP MP, Marie Sukers

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

Tens of thousands of voices ignored over BELA Bill

May 16, 2024

“Honourable House Chairperson,

The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill) should be about one thing, and that is learning.

It is a powerful personal growth and spiritual principle… that how we do something is as important as the outcome we achieve.

The real tragedy of the BELA Bill is that it shows that the ANC government does not believe in this principle. It is willing to do anything to achieve its ends.

Tens of thousands of South Africans came to the public hearings on BELA Bill. Our people came from rural areas and asked for a change to a more practical curriculum. Homeschool moms came with their children around them quoting international legal treaties. They came and shared their hearts, their minds, their hopes and dreams and their love and concern for their families and their fellow South Africans.

But rather than unite in diversity you sought to attack and divide.

Rather than be open, you sought to hide.

Rather than listen, you sought to silence.

When the people said this is an abortion bill you fell back on verbal tricks rather than simply admitting and changing.

This country needs a better BELA Bill.

Hon. Moratsetla and I shared in Committee that our children had been discriminated against when we had tried to get them into good schools.

The way you have passed this Bill, to saying nothing of the secret last-minute-attempted half compromises that were made, behind the scenes, have betrayed our people, and it will mean that this bill will be struck down. Every time you chose not to be better, right up to yesterday morning in Committee, you made this more certain.

You were better when you were led by Chief Albert Luthuli. You were better when you were led by Ma Charlotte Maxeke.

Today, we, the ACDP, pick up the mantle of Christian Democracy from those noble shoulders to ensure that our nation is better.”

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