Motshekga "lacks courage" to reign in Sadtu- DA

2017-05-24 23:01
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis accused basic education minister Angie Motshekga of cowardice in her reticence to act against the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) because of the ANC's succession battle.

In Wednesday's debate on Motshekga's budget, Davis said he was sure that Motshekga wanted a better education system, but she suffered from the same problem that afflicts all ANC politicians.

"She is compromised by the internal politics of her party and its alliance partners," he said.

He said this is why she lacks courage when dealing "with the number one problem in our schools - that trade union bosses have captured the education system".

"Now the Minister knows this very well. She just doesn’t have the guts to say it in public."

Davis then produced a letter that Motshekga wrote to the South African Human Rights Commission on Sadtu.

According to Davis, Motshekga bemoaned Sadtu's "hardened" attitude to measures to improve education, using policy matters as "bargaining chips" to get its own way and Sadtu’s “antagonistic approach”. Furthermore, she expressed her disappointment with illegal Sadtu strikes, boycotts and stay-aways and she singled out Sadtu as the culprit in the so-called ‘Jobs for Cash’ scandal.

"You will never hear the Minister say these things in this House. And you won’t see her taking action against her alliance partners," said Davis.  

"She doesn’t have the courage."

He said this is the case because she needs Sadtu for her own political survival.

"We all know that the Minister is supporting Mr Ramaphosa to become the President of the ANC," he said amid jeers from the ANC benches.

"And we saw last week how Mr Ramaphosa had nothing but praise for Sadtu when he spoke at their Congress. This is why the ANC cannot self-correct."

"The uncomfortable truth is that Sadtu will dominate our education system for as long as the ANC is in power."

In her reply, Motshekga didn't address the letter Davis raised but said he was "obsessive" about Sadtu and included the unions - "including the biggest of them all, Sadtu" - in the list of entities and people she thanked.

She said she joined Sadtu as a young teacher.

"I'm proud of its achievements and will always respect it."

Earlier in the day, she addressed the media before her budget speech, where she was asked about Sadtu.  

"I can't operate through fear (of Sadtu), but I also can't operate through prejudice."

She said the selling of posts continued and it was being done by district officials.

"We allowed them to hide because there is this big gogga (insect) called Sadtu."  

However, in the letter that Davis referred to, she wrote, "The Ministerial Task Team (MTT) Report on the alleged selling of posts does point to some gaps in the management in the appointment of personnel and has made material findings and recommendations about the role of union members, particularly from Sadtu, in influencing the selection process, unduly".

Read more on:    sadtu  |  gavin davis  |  angie motshekga

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