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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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By Alex Matlalamatlalaa@sowetan.co.za | Jun 24, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A LIMPOPO teacher has left teaching after being forced to work without pay for two years while the department froze his salary.

A LIMPOPO teacher has left teaching after being forced to work without pay for two years while the department froze his salary.

Mokgwathi Phetole Manyama, 40, of Mohlakamosoma village near Modjadjiskloof, had gone to the ATM on June 2001 but found that his account was empty.

Manyama has been trying to prove to the department that he was not a ghost teacher for the past two years.

But his attempts yielded nothing until after he left teaching.

Manyama, who was a Grade 5 physical science teacher at the Tlhotlhokwe Primary School in Bolobedu, has since been living in abject poverty with his family of three because he has no income.

His nightmare started when he made a cross transfer with another teacher at Mapulaneng in Mpumalanga.

The teacher was from Bushbuckridge but worked in Bolobedu, while Manyama worked in Bushbuckridge but lived in Bolobedu.

Both were allegedly given the go-ahead in a letter from their principals and the blessings of school governing bodies - but the letters did not get the attention of the circuit officer.

Manyama said when he asked the department about the salary during his first month in his new school, he was allegedly sent from pillar to post.

"I approached them a few weeks later and they said they froze my salary because I absconded from my duties," he said.

"I lodged a dispute with the education labour relation council in Pretoria and they gave me an award after arbitration. They ordered the department to release my salary. But the department faxed me a letter of dismissal.

"I call this unfair dismissal and I want answers from the department."

Manyama said he wanted the department to pay him the salary of the many years he worked without pay while waiting for the matter to be resolved.

Department of education spokesperson Ndo Mangala said according to section 14 of the Employment of Educators Act, an educator is deemed to have been discharged if he is absent from work for a period exceeding 14 consecutive days without the the permission of his employer.

Mangala said Manyama was given an award and told to report back to the school he was ordered to and "the law should apply".


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