INFIGHTING Splits SADTU

SOUTH AFRICAN Democratic Teachers Union president Thobile Ntola has been asked to resolve a dispute among union members in the Umlazi district in Durban, the union said yesterday.

SOUTH AFRICAN Democratic Teachers Union president Thobile Ntola has been asked to resolve a dispute among union members in the Umlazi district in Durban, the union said yesterday.

Ntola will address hundreds of teachers in Umlazi this morning, according to Sadtu Umlazi deputy chairperson Bukhosi Mzolo.

"We have called in the president to address our members because there is a group of Sadtu members who want to weaken our organisation through smear campaigns," he said.

The divisions emerged recently when Sadtu provincial leaders called for the resignation of KwaZulu-Natal education head Cassius Lubisi and four other senior officials.

Sadtu leaders accused the officials of misappropriating millions of rands of the department's funds.

One of the officials, Umlazi district director Mlu Ntombela, has been suspended pending a probe by the provincial department of education.

Some union members want all five officials to be suspended. Others believe the investigation is a waste of taxpayers' money.

Some union members feel that the Sadtu leaders who took office this year are trying to replace the five officials with their friends.

Sadtu provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said only a few Sadtu members were opposed to the investigation.

"We have been told that they are doing this to help (former Sadtu president) Willie Madisha to form a Cope-linked teachers union in Durban," he said.

It was recently reported that Madisha, a Cope leader, was in the process of forming a teachers union aligned to his party. Sadtu is aligned with the ANC.

However, this was denied by Sadtu member Nhlanhla Ngcobo.

"It is not true at all. We are just raising concerns about the behaviour of our leaders. We will not leave Sadtu."

He said many Sadtu members were leaving the union because they were not happy with its leadership.

"We have leaders who are very arrogant. They are only interested in pursuing their own personal goals and they neglect teachers," he said. - Sapa

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