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'Lift Mali's ban or we strike'

By unknown | Jan 09, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

Some teachers in and around Johannesburg are threatening to strike tomorrow.

Members of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) Gauteng branch are unhappy about the suspension of Thami Mali, who is the chief director of districts in the province.

They said Mali's ban must be lifted immediately so that Sadtu can complete its own investigations. Areas likely to be affected are Soweto, Alexandra, Lenasia, Eldorado Park and inner Johannesburg.

Ronald Nyathi, Sadtu's regional deputy secretary in Gauteng central, said the union wants several allegations against Mali to be investigated.

These include the alleged disappearance of 12 government cars during Mali's term as director in the former C3 district; irregularities on the allocation of tenders to companies where Mali is a silent partner; his suspension of six officials in district 11; and the death threats Mali made against Sadtu leaders.

"There will be no proper teaching and learning in our region from Wednesday [tomorrow] until all issues have been addressed,'' said Nyathi.

He said their members will be informed about the plans today at their weekly forums.

A strike by more than 7 000 Soweto teachers was averted last October when Willie Madisha, president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, initiated a last- minute meeting with Angie Motshekga, Gauteng's MEC for education.

The meeting resulted in a four-man committee being formed to deal with the issues.

"The committee solved nothing and we are back at where we were,'' Nyathi said yesterday.

The action by the teachers would have resulted in disruption of the grade 12 final exams.

Panyasa Lesufi, spokesman for the Gauteng education MEC, said they expect all teachers to report for duty when schools reopen tomorrow.

"The department has not been informed of the strike and anyone taking part in it knows that the no-work no-pay clause will be applied because this is not an unprotected strike and disciplinary action will be taken against the strikers,'' he said.


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