Teachers union says sorry for MEC insult

But 'Mr Satanic Verses' gets support from some teachers

THE South African Democratic Teachers Union has apologised for calling Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy a satanist.

Last Thursday, Sadtu Soweto chairperson Moss Senye called Creecy a satanist for implementing the no-work, no-pay policy. He said at the time: "Let us not embrace satanic people. Down with satanism. Barbara is trying to destroy us. Angie (Motshekga) tried and now she is gone, Mary (Metcalfe) tried and she has vanished.

"People have tried to destroy the union and failed. At no stage should you be friends with white people, they will satanise you."

Yesterday, regional chairperson Ronald Nyathi said: "We would like to unreservedly apologise to Barbara Creecy. We would like to reaffirm our support and respect for her as our MEC and ANC leader.

"We would also like to apologise to our members. Sadtu is a nonracial movement."

On Friday, the Sadtu national leadership distanced itself from Senye's tirade saying racism had no place in the union and ordered its Gauteng office to investigate the matter.

The ANC also condemned the utterances. Dumisani Ntuli told Sowetan yesterday that they had noted Sadtu's apology and would issue a full statement today.

"The attacks come from individual leaders who are not interested in improving education in Soweto schools," Ntuli said.

  • Senye, who is principal of Meadowlands High School, and another teacher, Fancy Phehle, appeared in court yesterday in connection with an assault of a pupil.

Nyathi said there were talks to settle the matter out of court. "We have met with the department and will do what is best for learners."

Education spokesperson Charles Phahlane denied that they were in talks with the union.

On the coming Soweto Eduction Summit, Nyathi said: "We would like to see Soweto schools performing. We would like to see engineers and teachers coming from this area."