Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Teacher unions have threatened violence if the Gauteng education department does not reverse the sacking this week of 28 "lazy" teachers and if pupils go to school to teach themselves.

"We advise parents that not a single pupil should be at school tomorrow because they will be exposed to extreme violence," SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) regional secretary Ronald Nyathi said yesterday.

He was also speaking on behalf of the National Professional Teachers Union of South Africa (Naptosa) and the Progressive Educators Union (PEU) after a mass meeting of teachers from various schools at the Altrex Centre in Alexandra.

The mass meeting was a result of the education department's decision to fire 28 of the 45 teachers at KwaBhekilanga Secondary School after pupils sent a memorandum saying that the teachers did not come to school to teach.

"What happened at Kwa-Bhekilanga will happen at other schools in the area if we don't stop it now," Nyathi said.

" This means that if pupils do not like a certain teacher that teacher will be fired.

"From now on we will intensify the struggle. We are more united than ever. If we don't stop the department more teachers will be fired in this way."

The unions said they did not know which teachers were fired since the teachers had refused to accept their letters of suspension.

Gauteng education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said: "The teachers did not come to a meeting we arranged, so we were forced to deliver the letters at their homes."

Yesterday the angry pupils tried to storm the Altrex Centre but police stopped them.

"Come and teach us," they demanded as they blocked the centre's gates and sang songs such as "A le teach le a jola" (You are not teaching, you are having affairs).

The ANCYL's Vincent Mothabela said: "We agreed in meetings with the department and unions that some teachers had to go."

The ANCYL encouraged pupils to go to school and to continue learning.

"We have organised tutors to assist pupils until Monday when replacement teachers come," he said.

This is not the first time that teachers have been kicked out of the school.

In 2006 parents and pupils moved against 40 of the 45 teachers for not teaching.