Today’s press conference by the teacher at the Schweizer-Reneke school in the North West, once again shows just how much work still needs to be done to build One South Africa for All.
The fact that the country has been gripped by this incident is further illustration of a broader issue which we must address. The project of building a country that we all equally belong to is far from over. It requires leadership from all of us and not divisive partisanship.
It is evident that a great deal of distress has been caused by some parties and organisations at the extremes of the political spectrum who have used this incident to divide and not unite us.
It has also caused immense stress to the learners, their parents and to the teacher involved.
In contrast to many others, the DA has always sought to act as responsibly as possible in relation to this matter.
The best interests of the children are of paramount importance, as per our Constitution, and that is why the DA went to seek answers about this matter without any preconceived notions.
We have sent various public representatives to engage with the school and the broader school community, in an effort to bridge divides and not to widen them.
The party remains actively engaged with the school governing body, parents and the local community at large in an effort to bring reconciliation.
The only way for groups and communities in the North West and across South Africa to ensure that we build a strong and vibrant democracy is to respect our differences and embrace our diversity. This is not a time to retreat to any kind of language or cultural enclave, but rather to keep building one South Africa for all, where the rights of groupings are celebrated.