Sadtu chiefs’ kids out of strike’s way

2010-10-17 10:28

While the South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (Sadtu) refuses to sign the government’s wage offer, some of its senior officials’ children go to schools largely unaffected by strikes.

A City Press survey found that at least six out of 12 leaders, both national and provincial, send their children to ­either a former Model C (suburban) or a private school.

The figure could be higher as some provincial leaders refused to comment on where their children attended school.

Of the seven national office bearers, only Sadtu president Thobile Ntola said his two boys were at a former Model C school.

“Teachers have a right to send their kids to a school of their choice,” he said.

“And the former Model C schools are well-resourced, unlike the school where I was principal. It was only two years ago that the school got a ­laboratory, for instance.

“If teachers send their children to well-resourced schools it is not a crime.

“Those schools have libraries, laboratories, grounds for sports and they even have air-conditioners.

“Their teacher-learner ratios are very low because captains of industry send their children to those very schools and ­contribute to the hiring of teachers.”

Other national leaders – ­general secretary Mugwena Maluleke, deputy general secretary Nkosana Dolopi, ­deputy president Magope Maphila and national treasurer Lindiwe ­Motshwane – said their ­children were at normal public or township schools.
“It’s expensive to send your children to former Model C schools and as a working-class citizen I can’t afford it,” ­Motshwane said.

Eight of the nine Sadtu ­provinces responded to City Press. But only four provincial officials were willing to say where their children attended school.

Of those with children of schoolgoing age, four provincial secretaries– Free State (Maruping Marumo), Limpopo (George Mudumela), KwaZulu-Natal (Mbuyiseni ­Mathonsi) and Mpumalanga (Walter Hlaise) – said their children ­attended former Model?C or private schools.

Among provincial chair­persons, Fundile Gade of the Eastern Cape said his child was at a boarding school in the Free State, and the Free State’s Tlokotsi Macheli’s children were at a former Model C school in Odendaalsrus.

Limpopo chairperson Ronnie Moroatshehla said his children were in township schools.

“My conscience is clear.

They were terribly affected by the strike like I was,” he said.

Other chairpersons, Chris Ndlela of KwaZulu-Natal, Bongani Mcoyana of Western Cape
and Eddie Kekana of Gauteng, refused to name their children’s schools.
Kekana said: “I’m sorry I can’t participate because it is not for nation-building.”

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