The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga is disappointed by the statement made by the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) where it describes her as a “Democratic Alliance agent trying to reverse what the Freedom Charter propagated.”
The allegations are completely absurd and deeply insulting considering that Minister Motshekga has dedicated her entire life to the fight against Apartheid and the liberation struggle she is now accused of wanting to engage in a fight against the irreversible gains of our mass democratic movement and the democratic government under the leadership of the African National Congress.
Instead of engaging with the report and making substantive responses to the contents of the report, SADTU resorts to personal attacks against the Minister of Basic Education, thus robbing SADTU members of the opportunity to engage the report on the core issue, which is the selling of posts.
The sector has a responsibility to engage the report with integrity and honesty and consider seriously its content. It would be interesting to understand what prompted SADTU to respond to the Jobs for Cash report in the manner they have by personalising their attacks against the Minister, despite the fact that the report was not drafted by the Minister, nor were the recommendations contained in the report made by the Minister, but by an independent team of respectable South Africans.
Furthermore, SATDU met with the Minister and the Ministerial Task Team where the union was given the opportunity to make submissions and raise their issues.
These comments become more disappointing still when one considers that SADTU has been part of the entire process since the inception of the task team. They agreed to the need for an investigation and participated fully in the processes of the investigation and made further submissions in writing, but at this crucial juncture, they choose to divert attention from the real issue.
The Minister herself responded to the MTT report which went through Cabinet and is contained in a separate document which is reflected as the Government’s official response to the independent report.
At the various consultative meetings held with key stakeholders in the sector before the release of the report, SADTU was made aware of the Government's response to the report, and yet for unknown reasons they choose to distort the Government's response. Instead of referring to the section dealing with their constituency, being teachers, their focus now seems to have moved to the sections referring to parents, whilst being acutely aware that through School Governing Body organisations there are discussions taking place on the powers of parental bodies as they relate to the appointment of teachers and promotional posts. The Department of Basic Education is fully committed to the public participation process and will continue to engage with stakeholders before any changes to policy are made.
We would like to appeal to SATDU to refrain from making wild, ridiculous statements in a bid to divert from the issue at hand and that is dealing with the real challenges of corruption in the appointment of educators, and reforming and refining processes and policies to deal with such. That is where Government will be focusing its energies.
Enquiries: Troy Martens – 079 899 3070