IFP leader, President Velenkosini Hlabisa, was the cause of sighs of relief among parents and teachers of learners who had achieved top matric results, yet had no bursaries to further their studies.

President Hlabisa honoured his commitment of rewarding the top achiever in two KwaZulu-Natal High Schools, both of whom excelled in their 2020 matric examinations. Two learners, Zemali Naye Mkhize from UMtapo High School in Lindelani, and Nokukhanya Brightness Ndlovu from Mbambangwe High School, each scooped up R20 000 for achieving outstanding results.

Mkhize obtained five A’s and will pursue her LLB degree in the University of Zululand, while Nokukhanya Ndlovu, who bagged six A’s, is still waiting for the nod to study medicine at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine at UKZN.

Emotionally-charged Ndlovu said she had no bursary or registration fee, and that President Hlabisa’s contribution would go a long way. Pledging his undying support to the schools, President Hlabisa – a former school principal – said that when he made his R20 000 prize pledge last year, some poured cold water on his commitment, as our society has become used to leaders who do not keep their promises.

He further vowed to increase the sum for the 2021 Matric Class top achievers to R30 000.

“Whenever I address learners, I always remind them that they cannot choose their family background – rich or poor – but that they can change their destiny. They can break the chains of poverty. Our President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, has taught us that education is the key: ‘Education for Liberation’.”

President Hlabisa pledged his long-term support to both High Schools and confessed his attachment to, and love for, education.

He praised teachers from both schools for working tirelessly with limited resources, and yet managing to produce A-class students.

He did, however, voice his concerns that there was a no-show of local learners in the KwaZulu-Natal province top ten.

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