School calls police after Sadtu demands to speak to four teachers

2013-11-11 18:09

Police were called to a Durban high school when six SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) representatives demanded to speak to their four members at the school.

"It was a small group. They wanted to speak to their members," Captain Thulane Zwane said.

He could not say what prompted Westville Boys High School to call the police, or why the Sadtu representatives wanted to see their members.

"Six representatives of the local branch of Sadtu arrived at the school this morning without appointment and asked to see four of our teachers," said the school governing body chairman Chris Bruorton.

"The group of visiting Sadtu representatives were told that they could not meet any teachers during teaching time, which is entirely reasonable," he said in a statement today.

He said the representatives arrived at the school while the Grade 12 class was writing matric exams.

"The visiting group was told that they should contact the district office of the education department, and that they could schedule a meeting with their four members at a mutually agreeable time, and they then left."

Bruorton said the school's security staff notified the school's office that a small group of unknown people had gathered outside the main gates.

"As a precaution, and particularly to ensure that there was no disruption to the matric exams, which were being written today, the police were called. Ultimately there was no cause for concern," he said.

The school recently made headlines when three T-shirts designed by the matric art class, bearing slogans poking fun at the African National Congress, went on display at the local Westville Village Market mall in Durban.

The T-shirts bore the faces of President Jacob Zuma, former president Nelson Mandela, and ANC national executive committee member and former police commissioner Bheki Cele.

On one of them the ANC leaders were referred to as "fakers since 1994".

The T-shirts were removed as soon as a complaint was received. They had been produced as part of the visual arts curriculum, an aspect of which focused on social commentary.

Attempts to obtain comment from Sadtu's KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi were unsuccessful.

Provincial education spokesman Bhekisisa Mncube said the department had not been able to contact Sadtu.

"We are therefore unable to comment at this stage until the affected school furnishes us with a report if they so desire."

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