09 February 2024

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) is shocked and distressed by a video of a learner drinking alcohol during a lesson in the classroom, circulating on social media platforms. This indeed is a sad day for education and schooling.

We condemn this ghastly behaviour, but it provides a glimpse of circumstances some of our teachers work under. The learner bowed his head behind other learners and drank while the lesson was taking place because he knew the teacher would not see him due to the class being overcrowded. However, it is unsettling that his fellow learners did not  reprimand him. Instead, one of them chose to record the incident, hence the viral video. We refuse to normalise such behaviour.

We call on the Department of Basic Education to investigate this matter and for stern action to be taken against the learner. We cannot allow learners to get away with self-destructive behaviours because they know that no matter what they do, they will not lose their right to education.

We reiterate our call to communities, parents, and stakeholders in education to rally behind our “I Am a School Fan” campaign where we call on all to do their part in ensuring that favourable conditions are in place so that effective teaching and learning can take place in schools.

The Department should provide more classrooms in order to get rid of overcrowding; teachers should be in class, prepared and teach; learners should carry themselves in a manner that will allow them to learn, and parents and communities should build strong relationships with the teachers,  involve themselves in school activities and report acts of vandalism of school property. To view the video, click:

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat


General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157