Poor Conditions: Colleagues at Glenwood school strike in support

2009-04-24 00:00

TEACHERS at McCarthy Primary in Tamboville near Glenwood have been striking in support of a colleague who faces a disciplinary inquiry, according to sources.

Thokozani Zuma is in trouble for speaking to The Witness as co-ordinator of sponsorship and building at the school.

Zuma first appeared in The Witness after she approached former president Thabo Mbeki when he spoke at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall in 2004.

She has been quoted in the paper about the poor conditions at the school more than once and her intervention even drew then newly-appointed Education MEC Ina Cronje to visit the school and promise to put it on her list of priorities.

However, after Zuma spoke to The Witness last month, complaining that nothing had been done despite sponsorships offered as a result of the published articles, she was charged, said sources.

The Witness has learnt that teachers at the school were visited by inspectors yesterday who tried to persuade them to retract their signatures calling for the withdrawal of the charges against Zuma.

This was after The Witness made inquiries with the department about the matter.

Close sources claimed the school heads realised due process has not been followed in Zuma’s case.

“Having worked in this field as long as I have I always thought a person first gets a verbal warning, followed by written warning before being called to a hearing,” said a source.

Instead, they said no investigations were conducted.

A letter from the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), leaked to The Witness, claims the disciplinary meeting does not comply with labour legislation.

The charge letter is also in The Witness’s possession.

It is handwritten and does not say when or where the disciplinary meeting was to take place.

No details of The Witness articles in question were supplied with the charge letter.

Bhekuyise Goge, a parent, expressed shock at the fact that a teacher would be charged for wanting to ensure that their children are helped.

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