Teachers shut down Eldorado Park schools

Pupils in Eldorado Park had to return home after being told teachers would be embarking on a strike.
Pupils in Eldorado Park had to return home after being told teachers would be embarking on a strike.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

Hundreds of pupils in Eldorado Park were left stranded yesterday after teachers affiliated to the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) went on strike.

Most schools had no activities whereas in other schools pupils were sent home as early as 10am.

This comes after seven black teachers from Eldorado Park Secondary School affiliated to Sadtu were prevented from entering the school premises after they had been reporting at the district office for 13 months following conflict with the principal.

The conflict started when the teachers allegedly accused the principal of financial mismanagement, racism and threatening one of them with a knife.

A 17-year-old grade 11 pupil at Eldorado Park Secondary School said it was frustrating that lessons were affected by the strike.

"I am from Klipspruit, I don't have money to go home and my transport is not aware we were released early. As it is we are behind with our studies because we did not even get all textbooks," he said.

A letter given to pupils, which Sowetan has seen, reads: "Please take note that Sadtu members are embarking on an unlawful strike as from today [yesterday], 18 of our teachers are part of this strike action and therefore we can't manage the school effectively."

Another pupil, a 17-year-old from Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof, said she will study at home. "We heard that the strike will take place for the whole week and we don't know what that means for us as pupils.

"We can't afford to be left behind the syllabus as that will affect us badly during our final examinations," she said.

Pupils were roaming the streets of Eldorado Park and other parts of Soweto, including Diepkloof and Pimville.

Sadtu branch member Desmond Luvhengo said the union had a regional mass meeting last week where a decision was taken by 10 branches to withdraw labour as they demanded seven teachers to be brought back at the school.

Luvhengo said they were also demanding the immediate removal of the principal.

"However, the strike has been suspended as we hope that Gauteng department will be able to resolve this issue."

Luvhengo said they will march to Eldorado Park police station on Friday. "We will demand to know what happened to the case opened by seven teachers against the principal."

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