Free State MEC’s adviser apologises for calling Sadtu teachers ‘magwinya and archaar eaters’

Adviser to the Free State Cogta MEC Tshediso Mangope is in hot water for attacking Sadtu members in social media post.
Adviser to the Free State Cogta MEC Tshediso Mangope is in hot water for attacking Sadtu members in social media post.
Image: Profile pic via Twitter

Tshediso Mangope, adviser to the Free State co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC, has apologised for his social media post in which he allegedly criticised members of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu).

Mangope posted a photo of his son with a teacher at Grey College in Bloemfontein, where the boy started school on Wednesday.

“Boy starts his journey at Grey College. He’s too happy. No magwinya [fat cakes] and archaar eating Sadtu person will teach my children,” his post read. The post contained a photo of two women he referred to as Sadtu teachers in a swimming pool.

Speaking to Free State Central News, Mangope said the post was meant to be a joke.

“There’s been banter between myself and my Sadtu friends. This post was made pursuant to the joke.

“It was meant to be a joke, but people decided to make a meal out of it. I regret having posted it,” Mangope said.

Sadtu wrote to MEC Mxolisi Dukwana expressing disappointment at Mangope’s post.

“We are bringing the matter to the attention of the MEC as it is alleged that Tshediso Mangope is employed in your office ... If the allegation is true, the office of the MEC is being disrespected and compromised by the person who should ensure that the office preserves the good image of the MEC, who is a deployee of the ANC,” Sadtu said in its letter.

Free State education MEC Tate Makgoe condemned “the derogatory and disparaging Facebook posts by a government official”.

“His posts amount to racism, sexism and blatant abuse of our teachers who have contributed immensely to the education of our children especially the historically disadvantaged learners,” Makgoe said.

“This kind of attitude against our teachers has to stop now.”

Makgoe said the Free State is one of the best performing education systems in the country, “thanks to these teachers whom Mangope is insulting”, adding “they have given us excellence and outstanding results even under most trying and untenable conditions”.

Mangope said the post was not intended to be malicious — which is why, when he realised it had created a “lot” of discomfort, he decided to take it down.

“I am extremely apologetic to everybody, not just educators in the country, but to the many young men and women produced by the same teachers. I am a product of public schooling myself.”

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