Threat to freeze salaries ends strike
The stick and carrot tactics of Eastern Cape MEC for education Johnny Makgato have yielded good results.
The three-month-old boycott of classes at Embekweni Primary School near East London by 17 teachers finally came to an end yesterday.
The deputy principal, Phumzile Mtatase, and teacher Thembile Mncotsho, who are accused by parents of being troublemakers, were among the teachers who returned to the school.
But Sowetan has learnt that the two left with the district education manager, Mpangazita Ngwanya, after a four-hour-long meeting.
Pupils were told to clean their classrooms to prepare for teachers to resume teaching today.
The return of the teachers followed a threat by Makgato at a crisis meeting with parents on Thursday to suspend the teachers' salaries.
"We will freeze all their salaries because there is no teaching at this school," he warned.
Makgato said he would inform the premier of Eastern Cape, Nosimo Balindlela, that the school was dysfunctional.
He said a commission of inquiry would investigate the school's problems, which arose from a bitter feud between parents and teachers.
Since the 17 teachers started their boycott in October, hundreds of pupils have not been taught.
The principal, Pakamile Tyindyi, handed Makgato a letter in which he resigned because he no longer felt safe at the school.
Makgato said this and other issues Tyindyi raised in the letter were extremely serious.
While welcoming the teachers, the chairman of the school governing body, Fundisile Ndlwayingenwa, said: "We are happy that the teachers are back, but it is our wish that the two [Mtatase and Mncotsho] do not return to the school."
The South African Democratic Teachers Union branch secretary in Mdantsane, Nkululeko Mphangalala, said an urgent meeting would be held to discuss the two teachers.