SADTU FREE STATE Media Statement on false accusations by ATM

26 February 2024

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in Free State notes the ill-informed, electioneering, panicking and reckless statement by the African Transformation Movement (ATM) where they falsely accuse SADTU of closing schools in Thabo Mofutsanyane on the 21st of February 2024 to attend what they refer to as ANC campaign meeting.

The ATM should have done their spade work and researched on processes followed for such meetings to take place before going on public to make malicious accusations against SADTU. It is unfortunate and embarrassing, though not shocking that the party that alleges to be ready to govern post the 2024 General Elections lacks knowledge about issues of workers that would include the right to bargaining. To put the record straight, there has never been any shut down of schools in Thabo Mofutsanyane or at any other district in the province. SADTU members were on an approved time off for union activity.        

It is contained in the Personnel Administration Measures (PAM) that members of a trade Union may take time off during working hours to participate in agreed to trade union activities. This does not only apply to SADTU members as other registered trade unions are also covered, but the ATM has been opportunistic to single out SADTU which they passionately hate despite her members doing great job in the education sector.

ATM has never opened their mouth when the province consistently perform excellently to acknowledge that this spectacular performance has been brought about by the commitment and sacrifices of educators who do not have time to spend with their families, all in the name of our learners. When educators are being attacked in schools on daily basis, we have never heard ATM uttering a word against these barbaric attacks. When schools are faced with overcrowding, shortage of teachers, drug abuse, etc, the ATM has never come to the defence of teachers, but they claim to be ready to govern.

The conduct of ATM is an indication of a panicking organisation that is looking for excuses when they lose elections as the writing is on the wall that voters and, in particular workers will not vote for the party that has declared war against workers rights. Any employee of the IEC who alleges claims of intimidation to support the ANC and safeguard their vote as alleged by ATM should have reported the matter to the authorities and not link such to SADTU.

SADTU subscribes to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign and is always prioritising the education of children. We do not need the ATM to remind us of our obligation which we champion so well. Theirs is to focus on building their party that will never succeed in the coming elections as voters have seen how they will reverse the hard gains of our democracy.       

Issued by:

Provincial Secretary                 :             Bricks Moloi    :             076 811 2777

Deputy Secretary                      :             Kedibone Frank:      079 886 3317