Stop having sex with schoolgirls – Sadtu’s plea to teachers

2014-10-03 09:12

The president of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union says the “scourge” of teachers having sex with their pupils is “threatening to destroy our union”.

Magope Maphila was addressing more than 400 Sadtu delegates at the union’s congress at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg yesterday.

Although he didn’t give any numbers, Maphila said the practice was rife, and should stop immediately.

“This scourge is threatening to destroy our union and it should never be tolerated. These kids are entrusted in your care to look after them and not to sleep with them. You are like a shepherd to them and a shepherd doesn’t turn against one of the lambs he leads.”

Elephant in the room

Maphila went on to say that the union had never met and taken a resolution to sell vacant posts. He was responding to a series of reports in City Press which exposed some of the union’s leaders colluding with officials from the department of education to sell positions.

The series of articles prompted an inquiry by basic education minister Angie Motshekga.

City Press reported that Sadtu members had taken control of the recruitment process from school governing bodies and departmental officials.

They reserved head of department, deputy principal, principal, circuit manager, area manager and district director positions for people who were willing to pay up to R30 000 or for the union’s own leaders.

We also exposed how some union bosses solicited sex in return for positions in the department.

“There is no resolution sanctioning the selling of positions. We welcome any investigation that will get to the bottom of the matter. If there is any among us who are part of those selling positions, they must be exposed”, Maphila said.

Court battles

Sadtu members who dragged the union to court came in for heavy criticism.

“Sadtu is not a banana republic. We have a constitution to guide us on how we work. None of our lower structures have the right to take us to court. We are disappointed because we have been pushed too far,” he said.

Sadtu has faced several court challenges.

In August, Sadtu in the Eastern Cape rushed to the Mthatha High Court to bar the union’s national leadership from declaring its provincial congress null and void.

Sadtu’s national executive committee had also blocked its Eastern Cape leadership from accessing its bank account. The Eastern Cape lost the case but is appealing it.

Regions and branches in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North West have also dragged the union to court after being disbanded, claiming they were being purged.

“It is not correct that when we have differences we rush to court. How much money have we spent on court cases? This congress must decide this matter once and for all.”

Trial by media

Maphila lashed out at the media and opposition parties, saying they were waging a war to demonise the union, the alliance and the ANC.

“People are already writing the obituary of the union and the alliance. This is a trial by the media. They say we are the most destructive thing to have happened in the education sector. There is an attempt by the Democratic Alliance and the media to continue peddling lies to ensure the sitting president of the ANC is removed.”

The congress continues today.

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