Cops watch anti-Motshekga protesters

By Drum Digital
24 April 2013

More than 20 police vehicles were deployed to an open space in Marabastad, on the outskirts of Pretoria, on Wednesday ahead of a planned Sadtu march to the Union Buildings.

Police officers stood next to the cars. Some of them held documents, while others conversed.

Two Nyalas, with flashing lights, arrived at the scene shortly before 9am.

The police were joined by a smaller group of Tshwane metro police officers.

Three ambulances and other emergency services vehicles were also on the scene.

Members of the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) braved cold weather to converge at the old Putco depot in Marabastad.

They are taking part in a national strike organised by the disgruntled union.

Four buses had delivered protesters to an open space between the Bloed and Struben streets by 10am.

A public address system was set up in a truck next to the buses.

To stave off the morning cold, some police and protesters made a quick detour to buy coffee.

Sadtu expected close to 25,000 of its members to take part in marches to the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, and to Parliament, in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"The marches are meant to increase the pressure on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan to resign from their... positions, in defence of collective bargaining and promotion of quality public education," Sadtu said in a statement.

Congress of SA Trade Unions president Sidumo Dlamini would lead the march in Pretoria, and his second deputy Zingiswa Losi the march in Cape Town.

On Monday, the basic education department and Sadtu failed to agree whether the marches were legal.

In Pretoria, the marchers are expected to proceed along Cowie, Struben, and Nelson Mandela Streets to the Union Buildings.

In Cape Town, the marchers would gather at 10.30am in Keizergracht and move along Darling, Adderley, Spin, and Plein Streets to Parliament.

Sadtu members have been on a national go-slow since pupils returned from the Easter holiday.

The department of basic education said teachers who joined the protest march would face disciplinary action and that the rule of no work, no pay would apply.

-Sapa

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