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It wasn't us, says Sadtu

By unknown | Jun 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Thembela Khamango

Thembela Khamango

Twenty-six vehicles were destroyed yesterday at a district office of the Gauteng Department of Education.

Though police could not confirm this, it is believed the attack at the Pimville, Soweto, premises of the department is related to the industrial action by public sector workers.

The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) has denied involvement in the attack.

Regional secretary Ronald Nyathi said he was shocked to hear of the incident.

"We are confident the people who destroyed the cars are not our members because all Sadtu members were picketing in the Johannesburg city centre.

"I hope the victims are not Sadtu members either because we advised all our members to join the strike. In fact, they were the ones who voted in favour of the strike," Nyathi said.

Sadtu members are alleged to have been behind violent attacks in other schools around Johannesburg over the past two weeks. A school principal, pupils, and staff were assaulted at St George's Primary School in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg last week, and at St Matthew's Secondary School, in Soweto, property was destroyed and a secretary was assaulted.

Police spokesman Govindsamy Mariemothoo confirmed cars were damaged and at least one was set alight at the department's Pimville offices, but could not confirm that this was related to the strike.

"Striking teachers gathered outside the building earlier on, but I cannot say they were the ones who committed the crime. We are still investigating," Mariemothoo said.

Thokozani Nkwanyana, an official at the department, whose car was destroyed, blamed the government for the incident.

"The body, tyres, lights and windows of my car were completely destroyed, I doubt the insurance will pay for the damages. But I blame the government. They promised us that if we came to work, we would be protected," said Nkwanyana.

Some officials said that they would not return to work until the strike was over.


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