Intelligence checks teacher union

National Intelligence Agency (NIA) agents visited an office of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) yesterday to question officials about a looming strike, according to the union.

National Intelligence Agency (NIA) agents visited an office of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) yesterday to question officials about a looming strike, according to the union.

Union spokesman Jon Lewis said Sadtu was concerned that this could constitute intimidation of its members.

Lewis said: "We condemn any involvement by the NIA in industrial disputes.

"Such actions serve to politicise what is a straightforward labour dispute."

The union said that along with other public service unions, it was simply asserting the right of members to strike in pursuit of legitimate wage demands.

"We therefore call on those responsible to cease and desist from any further interference in the legitimate trade union activities of Sadtu and any other trade union involved in the business of representing members' interests," Lewis said.

Don Pasquallie, Sadtu deputy general-secretary, said: "With all the hype around the succession debate, we are concerned that some people see more in the strike than what it's all about."

No comment had been forthcoming from the NIA by late yesterday afternoon. - Sapa

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