SADTU pays tribute to Mandela

6 December 2013

It is with deepest sorrow that SADTU has learnt of the death of former President Nelson Mandela. We express our deepest condolences to the Mandela family, relatives, ANC and the country for this loss.

On this sad occasion, we recall Mandela`s long and distinguished service as a humanitarian, seasoned politician and philanthropist.

SADTU`s General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke said; "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tata Madiba, our father and hero who changed the lives of so many people, not only in South Africa, but around the world."

Madiba was a staunch believer in democracy, justice and education. His strong belief in the power of education as a changer of people`s lives is captured in some of his famous quotes; "Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another."

SADTU will remember him for his profound speech at the historic launch of the Union on 6 October 1990. He described SADTU as a beacon of hope that was putting to an end, Bantu education and laying a firm basis for a single, democratic education system. He challenged teachers to instill democracy in the classroom and develop learners. "It is your duty to also be democratic in the classroom. You have to answer the question - are you developing a kind of intellectual among those in your custody? Are you initiating a new kind of relationship with your pupils? Is this relationship based on mutual respect and trust or is it one which relies on bullying?" he asked.

Bidding farewell to this gallant and yet humble revolutionary who sacrificed all for the liberation of the South Africa is not the easiest of tasks. As we come to terms with the loss, let us unite and continue with his ideals.

"We as teachers will forever be reminded about the passion Nelson Mandela had for children, and their wellbeing. Our promise to Madiba`s legacy is to protect the education system in South Africa and to ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow their personal development. They are the future of this country and as Nelson Mandela made history today, children will forever be reminded of his legacy and his fight for democracy as his story will be shared in history books around the world," concluded Maluleke.

We hope that when God dances with the angels Madiba will be among them.

Lala ngoxolo Madiba!

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