01 May 2022
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU), an affiliate of COSATU in good standing, strongly condemns and distances herself from the anarchy that ensued at the rally to mark International Workers Day - May Day organised by our Federation in Rustenburg whereby President Cyril Ramaphosa was booed. This unruly behaviour sadly, led to the abandonment of the event which is celebrated not only in South Africa but worldwide.
Such unruly behaviour is a foreign tendency which we strongly condemn. We cannot allow a few anarchists and populists to disrupt such an august occasion - a workers' event - and do so in the name of COSATU. SADTU finds it ironic that some workers among the crowd could behave in such an undignified manner in an event whose purpose is to seek, among others, to recommit the country to the constitutional principle of fair labour practices. This behaviour contradicts the constitutional provisions that guarantees freedom of speech and human dignity.
SADTU is not oblivious to the challenges facing workers in our country today as we fight against the undermining of collective bargaining, austerity measures, rising food and fuel prices, job losses and high unemployment figures. We believe our Federation has worked hard and some of our forebearers even died fighting for workers to have powers and platforms to engage the employer, including the right to strike. We believe these have enough teeth to ensure favourable outcomes for workers. We therefore have no cause to resort to demeaning ways to resolve challenges faced by workers. In the spirit of Workers' Day, let us use these to the fullest to gain favourable outcomes for workers.
We believe that either COSATU or its affiliates are highly infiltrated by populists and demagogues who seek to take full advantage of the genuine demands and challenges of workers to profile themselves.
In the spirit of International Workers' Day, we call for workers unity and working-class solidarity.
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