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Sadtu 'worried' over member's slaying

By Canaan Mdletshe | Feb 05, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

SADTU has said it was concerned that education official Ntombizonke Cele was slain for being outspoken about alleged breaches in education policies.

Sadtu provincial chairperson Chris Ndlela called on the police and Justice Department to leave no stone unturned and thoroughly investigate the murder.

A memorial service was held in Durban yesterday for Cele, and speakers described her death as a great loss to the education sector.

Cele, 59, was a chief education specialist in Pietermaritzburg.

She was strangled in front of her 10-year-old granddaughter on Sunday at her Westville home.

Ndlela said the manner in which Cele was killed was heinous.

Of concern to many mourners was the release of the two men arrested by the police soon after the attack.

"We are saddened by her death. It's a great loss to the entire education fraternity in the province because she was one of the bravest comrades who belonged in that special class," said Ndlela.

Ndlela said Cele had called him on Friday, 48 hours before she was brutally murdered, and raised issues that she was not happy with.

"She nagged me about the fact that the Department of Education had failed to pay her for a workshop she had conducted.

"She also complained about two posts that were advertised in 2008 and that no appointments were made for the positions despite interviews being conducted last year.

"Of great concern to her was that there were people who were suitable for those posts in the department.

"As Sadtu we raised serious issues with the department and now Zonke (Cele) is dead."

He said she died under mysterious circumstances.

The union also wants MEC for education Senzo Mchunu to announce the outcome of investigations the union had earlier asked for regarding posts and other matters.

"It worries us when one of our own, after raising her concerns, dies like this," Ndlela said.

He said Cele had also complained that appointments in the department were in "total breach of education policies".

Speaking on behalf of the family, Oscar Mathafa said they were saddened by the way Cele was killed.

"It is painful, but we hope the police will wipe away our tears by making an arrest."

Nomakhosi Mkhize, the human resource development coordinator, said Cele has left a big void in the education fraternity.

"She was one of a kind. She was larger than life, a visionary and an asset to the department," she said.

Cele will be buried tomorrow in Westville.


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