COSAS statement on the reinstatement of the DG
The Congress of South African Students welcomes with open hands the decision by judge Van de Merve’s commission, after a long and thorough deliberation to acquit the Director General of the DBE in all the charges levelled against him. We welcome the decision and accept it is a speedy way to stabilize the Department of Basic Education, moreover we wish to applaud the inclusivity of the process and its transparency in arriving at this decision, as it allowed those who complained and those who had evidence that could assist the case to come forth and present it, and further allowing those that complained about the conduct of the DG to observe the entire process as it unfolded.
However COSAS is hereby expressing its dismay and disgust at the sudden threat by the teachers union to strike in opposition of the outcome of the disciplinary case. In a press statement released by SADTU on the 18th of February 2014, the union forwarded genuine matters of the workers in as far as the question of the pay progression for the teachers is concerned. We hereby as COSAS reiterate our biasness to the struggle of the working class and support the call to the department to urgently address this matter, but what we will never tolerate is the intention by the teachers union to push for the teachers to stay out of class and neglect their responsibilities of educating the learners of this country, only as a way in which they want to demonstrate their discontent with the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings against the Director General.
We maintain that at no point will we allow for the learners to be compromised for narrow and selfish interests by the union leadership, and we hereby assert that anybody who neglects their teaching responsibilities and march will be regarded as reckless and inconsiderate and we will therefore march against them entering our schools. The learners remain the major stakeholders in the department of education and they are ready to take responsibility of their future including calling upon the DBE to immediately fire anybody who intends on neglecting learners and marching for nonsense.
If SADTU doubted the credibility of the appointed judge or the disciplinary process they could have raised such on the beginning of the process and not allow its attorneys to advance their case, observe the process and thereafter denounce the outcome cause they don’t favor their demands. We see such an opportunistic reaction as undermining all other stakeholders in basic education and seeking to impose their thinking to everyone in a bully way, it must however be noted that it is the learners who are vulnerable the most and it will be the same learners who take a stand to defend their future, including engaging members of SADTU in their personal capacity to refrain from allowing their genuine labour matters from being used by their leadership to advance their narrow interests.
We affirm once more that in defense of stability in the interest of learners we will never take such kind of threat laying down.
Thlologelo Collen Malatji