The National Working Committee (NWC) of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union having held its ordinary monthly meeting on the 9th October 2012 to deliberate on a number of issues ranging from political developments in the country, education issues which included the release of the Presidential Task team report on the Limpopo workbooks’ saga and the killings of the NUM members in the mines amongst others.
On the Presidential Task Team Report on the Limpopo workbooks:

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) welcomes the report of the Presidential Task Team established to investigate the non-delivery of learner and teacher support material in schools in Limpopo. Further welcomes the wide-ranging recommendations aimed at dealing with corruption by officials and service providers, negligence by the accounting officers entrusted with the responsibility of delivering quality education from DBE, Limpopo department of education and Limpopo Treasury, and lack of effective corporate governance at the strategic level of the department of education.

The NWC welcomed the clarity on the issue of workbooks, which affected grades 1-3 and Grade 10 learners.

The report is long overdue, as learners have, for the most part of the year, been deprived of basic learning resources.  Based on the report, President Jacob Zuma asked Minister Motshekga to request the Public Service Commission to investigate the Director General (DG) Booby Soobrayan’s conduct with regard to the following:

  • His alleged indecisive response to correspondence received from the publishers in December 2011 regarding the procurement of Learning and Teaching material for 2012;
  • His alleged failure to provide the necessary support for the Section 100(1)(b) intervention, particularly his interaction with the Administrators appointed in terms of such intervention.

SADTU calls for the investigation to take place as a matter of urgency and no stone to be left unturned because we don’t want to see a repeat of Limpopo saga in 2013. We give the minister 7(Seven) days to operationalize the President’s instruction.

We condemn the DG’s conduct of running to the media pleading his innocence whereas the Public Service Commission would provide him with a platform to state his case and clear his name.
This indicates on his part, total contempt of the institutions and processes of government.

We were shocked to see adverts placed on Sunday newspapers by the Department of Basic Education defending itself after the Section 27 application at the North Gauteng High Court. How much the Department had to pay for these adverts whereas they could have presented their side of the story in court?

Instead of the Director General wasting the public funds by placing advertisements in the newspapers trying to clear his name he should use every available avenue to inform the nation if books are going to be delivered on time in 2013.

We further call for the President to speed up investigations on all those who are implicated in the report. The president must not allow anyone to stand on his way of championing the course of delivering quality public education to the poor.

We further call upon the National Treasury to provide financial resources in all areas where section 100(1)(b) is being implemented.

Further, we call for a forensic audit of Lebone Group Holdings, a company co-founded by Salama Hendricks, the DG’s former fiancé’s mother that was awarded a R243million tender to print, package and distribute workbooks to schools last year and the recent tender in Limpopo. The Director General was implicated in potential conflict of interest and allegations to corruption regarding the tender. We give the minister 7(Seven) days to institute such a forensic audit.

SADTU is not prepared to allow corruption to ruin the future of the children of the working class. We are therefore going to use all our might to fight corruption and that people who are found guilty of putting their fingers in the till be brought to book irrespective of who they are.

Textbook shortages are not only limited to the Limpopo province; all provinces were affected. This shortage has further deepened the crisis in education. The issue of temporary teachers, compliance to the norms and standards for funding schools, the destabilizing post provisioning model, infrastructure backlogs, the appointment of general assistance, the question of teacher development and the collapse of the education labour relations council also need to be attended to as well.

We would like to express our anger at the killings of NUM members and their families. We strongly condemn the use of violence as a mobilization tool. These killings are used to instill fear among NUM members which will eventually lead to the weakening of the organization.

These killings are also a sign that the strikes in the mining industry are not about wages but to destroy NUM and COSATU. NUM remains the only reliable and credible union to champion the course of the workers in the mines.

We call on the police to do their work and apprehend the culprits who are behind the killings. So many workers have been killed but we have not seen anyone being apprehended and brought before the courts. We also urge the employers in the mining industry to meet the workers’ demands and improve the working conditions in the mines.

We pledge our revolutionary support to NUM, SAMWU and SATAWU. We are doing so encouraged by the members of SATAWU who appreciate the rule of law and the importance of collective bargaining and not populist and dangerous approach by some of the disgruntled elements in the mines.

Their collective course remains genuine and victory is certain.

This is all happening at the time of us celebrating World Teachers’ Day and having to make a case for teachers.

As SADTU, we are going to have a national event to celebrate the day in Emalahleni Civic Hall,  Mpumalanga on Friday the 12th of October, 11am.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat