Court declares Sadtu strike illegal

The Johannesburg Labour Court on Tuesday declared a protest by teachers’ union Sadtu in Soweto schools illegal, the Gauteng education department said.

The department obtained an interdict against the union following disruptions at schools in Florida, Soweto, Lenasia, Eldorado Park and Ennerdale, and its district offices, said spokesperson Nanagolo
Leopeng.

The court’s order prevented South African Democratic Teachers’ Union members from embarking on protests and work stoppages on school premises and at district offices, and from harassing and intimidating principals, pupils, district officials and staff members.

The union said the court order would not resolve issues.

“The interdict is a display of the MEC’s [Barbara Creecy] immaturity. If people in Soweto managed to fight against apartheid, what is this document?” asked Sadtu spokesperson Ronald Nyathi.

It would fuel more anger from the teachers who were already unhappy with the Gauteng education department, he said.

Sadtu threatened to embark on an “intense” protest.

The protests prompted Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mukonyane’s call, in her state of the province address on Tuesday, for unions to “refrain from activities that disrupt schooling”.

“Any kind of behaviour which brings schooling into disrepute cannot be tolerated.”

The Democratic Alliance also condemned the disruption of learning.

“The behaviour of the teachers is contrary to President Jacob Zuma’s principles that education is the key to sorting out SA’s problems,” DA councillor Sipho Ndlela said in a statement.

He condemned the teacher’s actions and accused them of using pupils to achieve their objectives.

Sadtu members disrupted classes in Soweto and Florida on Monday in a bid to have appointment letters signed for their preferred school principals.

Some of the teachers in Soweto have been on strike since last week.

Nyathi said that on Tuesday union members abandoned classrooms to embark on a protest. - Sapa

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