The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in KwaZulu Natal is calling on the police and the department of education in KwaZulu-Natal to leave no stone unturned in investigating an incident of arson at the home of our member and Mzala Nxumalo regional sports, arts and culture convener, Comrade Barbie Mazeka.
Last night, comrade Barbie Mazeka’s house at kwa-Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal was razed to the ground by unknown assailants. Luckily, no one was hurt but the entire house and all its contents perished. It is unfortunate that the SAPS and the firefighters failed to intervene even though they were informed timeously. We believe that had they responded swiftly, the damage could have been lessened.
SADTU believes the incident is linked to Comrade Mazeka’s promotion as principal of Kwa-Nogcoyi. She assumed her position on Thursday, 01 June 2023 and on Saturday, 04 June
2023, the school’s administration block was set alight by unknown assailants.
On Sunday, 05 June 2023, Comrade Mazeka’s house was set alight. The incident is the last straw that has broken the camel’s back. SADTU members in the area and the school have, for quite some time, been working in hostile environment dominated by political interference from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). It has been made clear through action and verbally that SADTU members were not welcomed in the school.
SADTU, together with the parents of learners (School Governing Body) have, for quite some time raised concerns with the department of education about the state of the school’s finances and deteriorating conditions and called for a forensic investigation. No parents meeting was convened in 2022 and the school budget for 2020/21 was not adopted. No textbooks were ordered for 2022 and the learners were made to buy exercise books.
Several letters have been written to the District Officials and the Head of Department of Education asking them to investigate, among others, allegations of misuse of funds by the chairperson of the School Governing Body to fund his campaign for a seat in local government but there hasn’t been a positive response.
SADTU wants to make it clear that it is a right of every teacher to belong to a union of their choice. It is a right of a member of SADTU to work in a safe environment and is the duty of the employer to ensure this safety.
As the Department of Basic Education is currently processing the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA), SADTU is looking at making proposals on the compensatory mechanisms to educators, short of litigation, for personal injury and damage to property suffered by educators in the course of their employment with the Department.
ISSUED BY: KZN SADTU
Nomarashiya Caluza (Provincial Secretary) : 082 611 7027
Jabulani Nxumalo (Deputy Provincial Secretary) : 082 611 7028