The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has added its voice in the call for expelled ANCYL Leader Julius Malema to stop his inflammatory statements against the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and its leadership. Malema has called on miners to boycott the leadership of NUM.

We believe Malema’s reckless utterances have led to the hacking to death of an NUM shop-steward and a rock-driller at Lonmin, Dumisani Mthinti. We would like to express our sincere condolences to his family.

Malema is causing all this havoc not because he has the interest of the miners and the poor at heart but to resuscitate his political career at the expense of the miner’s jobs and the destabilization of South Africa.

NUM has, for the past 30 years, been fighting for better conditions and salaries of miners and has milestones to prove they are a true fighter for the workers.

When Malema failed to rally enough suspended soldiers to his meeting this week he began to lament on the poorly paid public service employees – the teachers, health workers and soldiers and said such a situation needed to be remedied.

As a union representing teachers and workers in education, we want to tell Malema that we have never elected him to speak on our behalf. If any situation needs to be remedied, we will do it ourselves.  We solve our problems through collective bargaining channels and not through violence and anarchy.  We are aware of the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment in the country and we are facing them head-on.

Malema has never held a 9 to 5 job in his life, how can he therefore speak for the workers? We won’t allow him to use the workers as a stepping stone back into the political arena.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat