Sadtu denies getting panties letter

2013-05-01 07:53

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Johannesburg - Cosatu and teacher union Sadtu have denied receiving correspondence from Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga which was published as an open letter on Tuesday.

The letter to the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA Democratic Teachers' Union, and the Commission for Gender Equality, appeared in the Sowetan newspaper.

Motshekga called on Cosatu and Sadtu to apologise for the behaviour of protesters, who publicly displayed a piece of underwear attributed to her.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said in reaction: "Neither Cosatu nor Sadtu has received any such letter."

No trade union had authorised or condoned the display of such items, he said.

"We cannot apologise to the minister, and take responsibility, for the display of panties when we don't know where they were bought or by whom."

In the letter Motshekga writes: "There can be no debate that the display of women's underwear, as part of the trade union protest paraphernalia, is unacceptable and can only fuel patriarchal prejudices in an environment that is already volatile for women.

"I am pained at this open display of denigration, sexual violence and objectification."

The minister said Sadtu and Cosatu had crossed the line and should apologise to her and all South African women.

Sadtu members marched in Pretoria last week, calling for the resignations of Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan.

Cosatu said Motshekga was trying to deflect attention from problems in education.

"These are the issues the minister is seeking to side-step in this attempt to whip up emotions against the union while refusing to take responsibility for an education system driven to a crisis by the incompetence of her department," Craven said.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  cosatu  |  angie motshekga  |  bobby soobrayan  |  patrick craven  |  education

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