I’m innocent - expelled Sadtu president

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Expelled SA Democratic Teachers' Union president Thobile Ntola has vowed to appeal against his expulsion.

Johannesburg - Expelled SA Democratic Teachers' Union president Thobile Ntola has vowed to appeal against his expulsion.

“I was maliciously targeted by the national executive committee, I am innocent,” he said on Wednesday.

Earlier, the trade union's deputy secretary Nkosana Dolopi told reporters in Johannesburg that Ntola was expelled for his inappropriate relationship with Sadtu service providers.

He said Ntola abused his position and used it for personal gain. Ntola was expelled by the union on Monday.

Among the alleged irregularities discovered against Ntola 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.”

Ntola allegedly had private dealings with other service providers, including an insurance company that had allowed Ntola and his family to live in its R3.5 million property since 2011.

“Ntola blackmailed this service provider to provide him with a house, failing which its contract of doing business with Sadtu would be cancelled,” Dolopi said.

Ntola said he had not personally benefited from any service provider.

Regarding the R10 000 monthly allowance, Ntola said a director of one of the service provider companies he called, Mr Malombo, had helped him with money a few times whenever he had an emergency.

“Mr Malombo and I had a brotherly relationship and would assist each other whenever there was a need. Malombo also assisted the union from time to time,” he said.

The R3.5m house he lived in with his family was owned by Malombo, he said.

“He asked me to look after his property, I pay the rates and services for the property, it's in his name... it's not my house.”

He said he would appeal against his expulsion.

“It is not nice to be in this position... I am innocent and was targeted as a result of tension within the labour federation (Cosatu).”

Dolopi said Ntola's expulsion had nothing to do with him allowing Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to address a Sadtu conference in the Eastern Cape last year.

At the time, Vavi was suspended from Cosatu. Ntola is a staunch Vavi supporter.

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

Ntola said Vavi was a good leader.

“He is a good leader who is concerned about nothing but the working class.”

When asked what his future plans were, Ntola said he would remain within the workers' movement.

“It is still early days to share what the future holds, but I know I will remain within the working class, wherever and whenever that might be.” - Sapa


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