SADTU North West statement on the sentencing of teenager who murdered a teacher

1 March 2019

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) in the North West, welcomes with reservations the 10-year- sentence handed down on a 17-year-old by the Leurutshe magistrate's court for the murder of Ramotshere High School teacher and SADTU member, 24-year old Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate.

Mokolobate was stabbed to death by the teenager at the school in September last year. His death sent shockwaves throughout the teaching fraternity and the country.

As a union we expected a harsher sentence. We further question the law which allows minors who have committed serious offences to receive light sentences.

The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. It further states that everyone has the right to life and to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources. It high time that legislations which protect minors from receiving harsher sentences be reviewed.

We are pleased that the Department of Education and Sports Development has, at long last, acceded to our call to convene a Provincial Safety Summit that we have long been calling for. In our view, the summit should not just be turned into a talk show but a social dialogue that will try and find possible solutions to address violence in our schools.

We expect that all role players, teachers, parents, community leaders, religious leaders, School governing bodies, learner representative councils, progressive student movements, sister departments like Community Safety and Social Development to converge under one roof with one thing in mind to try and find lasting solutions to the problem of violence in our schools against teachers, learners and employees in the education sector.

Prepared by Secretariat

George Themba, Provincial Secretary
Masaele Cindi Provincial, Deputy Secretary