Ntola expulsion has 'nothing to do with Vavi': Sadtu

Thobile Ntola
Thobile Ntola

SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) president Thobile Ntola was expelled for his inappropriate relationship with service providers, the union said on Wednesday.

"There is no link between Ntola's expulsion and Vavi. The issue is not even in the 10 charges that were presented to Ntola," union deputy general secretary Nkosana Dolopi told reporters in Johannesburg.

Ntola had led people to believe that he was suspended for allowing Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to address a Sadtu conference in the Eastern Cape last year.

At the time, Vavi was suspended from the Congress of SA Trade Unions. Ntola is a staunch Vavi supporter.

Dolopi said on Wednesday: "He was suspended for his inappropriate relationship with service providers. He knew that if he uses the Vavi issue he was bound to receive sympathy and hide his actions."

He said Ntola abused his position and used it for personal gain.

Among the alleged irregularities discovered was that one of the union's service providers was paying Ntola a R10,000 monthly allowance. The service provider disclosed this to the union, he said.

"That amount can be at least R300,000 if we calculate from when Ntola became president in 2010," said Dolopi.

Vavi's suspension was lifted by the High Court in Johannesburg earlier this year and he returned to his post.

Dolopi said the issue of Ntola allowing Vavi to address Sadtu members was never raised in the union's national executive committee (NEC) discussions.

Ntola was investigated from May last year and suspended in August, Dolopi said. Ntola did not co-operate and never attended any of his disciplinary hearings, initially set for March 31 to April 2 this year.

"His legal representative presented two medical certificates whose authenticity was questioned. The hearing was moved to a later date."

He said Ntola was seen "enjoying himself" at the Cape Town jazz festival on the eve of the rescheduled hearing.

"He checked into the Cape Town International Airport on Sunday March 30. It is without doubt that Ntola was not sick but chose to undermine the constitutionality of the hearing convened for him to present his case."

Based on a report of an independent chair for the hearing, the NEC resolved to accept that Ntola be dismissed, Dolopi said.

Ntola received documentation notifying him of his expulsion on Monday.

Sadtu has been divided on Vavi, with some factions calling for his removal.

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