Teachers unions slam ‘jobs for cash’ report, which ‘blemishes all teachers’

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Teachers’ unions have lashed out at the “jobs for cash” report, slamming the speed at which it was compiled, the generalisations it contained and some of its recommendations.

Unions appeared before Parliament on Wednesday calling for those implicated to be handed over to the police, instead of entire unions being painted with the same brush.

The unions – including the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa, Suid Afrikaanse Onderwyserunie, Professional Educations Union (PEU) and the National Teachers Union (Natu) – appeared before Parliament’s basic education committee on Wednesday.

This was in relation to the ministerial task team’s report on the “jobs for cash” scandal, which stemmed from an investigation into allegations of teacher posts being “sold”.

Sadtu has been accused of being involved in the scandal.

The report, Sadtu’s Mabuto Cele told the committee, painted all of its members as corrupt, as opposed to the ones fingered in the report.

This was not true, he said, and the union should not be viewed as corrupt in its entirety.

“It can’t be right that a union of 260 000 professionals, on the basis of [findings of wrongdoing] against seven teachers ... blemishes all teachers,” he said.

“Sadtu has no policy at all to encourage structures to sell posts ... We have good men and women who are professionals and do their job,” Cele said.

The people implicated should be arrested, and the report should not just be “making noise”.

The PEU called for the minister to not even think twice about pressing criminal charges against those involved “to ensure that this cancerous anathema, which is hell-bent on discrediting the teachers profession, becomes uprooted”.

Natu expressed concern about the “breakneck speed” at which the ministerial task team was proceeding with its investigation, saying it appeared that getting to the finish line was more important to them than digging up the dirt they were mandated to uncover.

The union also expressed concern about the methodology used in the investigation.

The investigation started after City Press reported that principals’ positions were being sold for upwards of R30 000 and teachers’ posts were also being sold for livestock and cash amounts of as little as R6 000.

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