Sadtu ‘declares war’ on government

2010-10-10 10:00

The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) confirmed that they have rejected the government’s 7.5% and R800 housing allowance wage offer.
Sadtu president Thobile Ntola told delegates at the conclusion of the union’s seventh congress yesterday that the union has ­declared war on government and the offer.

The union will have to wait to find out what the other public service unions decide by the end of the 21-day strike suspension period on Tuesday. If the other unions accept the offer, Sadtu will have to accept it as well.

Sadtu also avoided a political fall-out by making formal apologies to ANC bigwigs Gwede Mantashe and Angie Motshekga.

Mantashe, the ANC general secretary and Motshekga, basic education minister and ANC women’s league president, were heckled and booed when they addressed Sadtu delegates on Thursday.

Re-elected Sadtu general secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, said Sadtu apologised to Mantashe, who said he had no hard feelings towards Sadtu because he understood the situation of the strike.

“He doesn’t keep grudges from petty squabbles. He remained with us after his speech. And we not only apologised as Sadtu leadership, but we also had all the nine provinces apologise to him,” said Maluleke.

He said Mantashe was entitled to express his views about Sadtu as where there were differences, the parties worked to find a ­solution.

Maluleke said Motshekga accepted the apology.

“She stayed with us for two whole days. She told us she understood that members were still angry with government because the strike was still fresh in their minds.”

Maluleke said relations between Sadtu and ANC remained intact. “There is nothing to mend as no fences were broken.” But not all delegates were forgiving.

“I’m not afraid to say it, Mantashe has been strategic in trying to destroy the image of Sadtu and educators in the public by blatantly lying about teachers taking their children to Model C schools,” said Tiyani Chauke, of the Lenasia branch of Gauteng central region.

He also said Motshekga’s utterances during the strike were arrogant and had turned her into the teachers’ enemy.

“We wanted the recovery ­programme to include all teachers and all grades, but she said it will never happen.

It appears she is prioritising something other than education; maybe she has an agenda we don’t know,” Chauke said.

He said the alliance remained united, but individual leaders “with agendas” were proving problematic.

ANC spokersperson Jackson Mthembu said Mantashe and Motshekga had accepted the apologies.

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