A special National Executive Committee took place on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 in Braamfontein, Gauteng. The NEC discussed the posture of SADTU on the issue of the conduct of the General Secretary of COSATU, Cde Vavi, in preparation for the special Central Executive Committee of COSATU scheduled for the 14 August 2013.

The meeting further discussed the issue of the management of the media and conflicting statements made by SADTU to the public.

On the management of the media

The meeting noted
That on several occasions the union had been seen as an organization sending conflicting and confusing messages in the media. This was again observed on the issue of Cde Vavi.

The tendency of leaders articulating their personal views in the media and same be elevated to union positions even if those positions don`t exist.

That COSATU as a Federation had not pronounced on the matter of the General Secretary. Decision

  • The NEC re affirmed the union`s policy on the management of the media as follows: • Communication was a broad strategy, media was part of the element of communication. The office of the General Secretary was the one responsible for communication in the organization and he will from time to time delegate that responsibility to a particular leader.
  • Provincial Offices are obliged to send their media statements for the attention of the General Secretary for perusal and approval before sending to Media Houses. The
    purpose is not to silence the provinces but to ensure that they defend and uphold
    the image of the union as a unitary Organisation.
  • Leadership must stop contradicting each other in the media, the centre must hold.

On the conduct of the President

The NEC observed that the President of the union Cde Thobile Ntola, the custodian of the constitution of the union continues to breach this media protocol.

The NEC therefore suspended Cde Thobile Ntola and subjected the following allegations against him to an investigation:

  1. Breaching of the protocol of the union on the media
  2. Bringing the union into disrepute through the unmandated utterances he made to the media
  3. Always defining himself outside the protocols and policies of the union.
    The above must be added to other allegations which are already a subject of investigation against the President, which are:
  4. His relationship with service providers e.g Lebone Litho Printers, a service provider for textbooks and the possible conflict of interest related thereto, and
  5. His relationship with the current DG of the Department of basic Education whereas the union had taken a clear and unambiguous position on him.
  6. His conduct during our recent mass action

The NEC decided to appoint Cheaddle and Thompson as an independent firm of attorneys to investigate all these allegations. The Union views the issues of code of conduct in a very serious light and upholds the principle of fairness in dealing with such. The independent Firm affords the accused and the Union the opportunity to deal with the allegations in fair manner.

The NEC urge on concluding this process expeditiously to clear the air but to also allow the union to focus on her key mandate , which is to represent members by improving their conditions of work.

We are calling on all the SADTU members to remain resolute and to allow this process to ensue and be concluded as envisaged. This is what the constitution provides for; each and every member is bound by its provision because the constitution is fair and impartial.

A full report will be availed to all the structures and members as soon as it is available.

During this process no one is allowed to engage the media because this is an internal process as provided for in the constitution. All media queries will be handled by the General Secretary in terms of the constitution and where he is not available to comment the constitutional provisions on the duty of the Secretariat takes precedence.

Issued By Secretariat