4 January 2021
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) is saddened by the news of the passing on of the President of the National Teachers' Union (NATU), Allen Thompson. He was elected as the President of NATU in 2018 after having served as the Union's Deputy President in the previous term.
As the President of NATU, a union that we share various platforms with such as the Education Labour Relations Council, we were exposed to his deep passion for the advancement of teachers' rights in our country. Through various collaborative initiatives amongst education unions, we had the opportunity to appreciate his extensive and thorough knowledge of the basic education sector.
More recently, we worked closely with him on our joint COVID 19 response strategy as education unions. His deep intent to ensure that education workers as well as learners returned to work and school under safe conditions was unquestionable. It is common cause that the lockdown regulations affected the education value chain negatively during this era as we jointly engaged stakeholders. His uncompromising attitude was amongst those reinforcing elements we looked upon to carry us through.
His evidently unequivocal commitment to the membership of NATU and sharp mannerism added an important voice to the discourse within the education sector.
It is our strong view that his demise is a significant loss not only to NATU but to the education fraternity as a whole. We believe that he made a meaningful and remarkable contribution to the sector and has left valuable lessons for us to emulate as organised labour.
We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and the entire members of the National Teachers' Union.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157