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Tension brewing in the Sadtu Western Cape ranks after three leaders expelled from union

Sadtu meeting at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha. Picture: Supplied

Sadtu meeting at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 14, 2022

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Cape Town - Tension is brewing in the ranks of the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in the Western Cape after three leaders were expelled from the union.

This has created cracks in the union, with some members saying the decision to expel the leaders was taken without following proper constitutional disciplinary processes.

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Coastal regional secretary Vusumzi Mahobe, Coastal regional treasurer Xolani Tinise, and Khayelitsha branch secretary Phendula Nqanda were recently expelled on several charges.

The charge sheets seen by the Cape Argus stated Mahobe was allegedly guilty of misconduct and committed an act of dishonesty when he told the provincial executive committee (PEC) on April 16, 2021 that he acted on the instruction of the regional executive committee (REC) when he wrote letters requesting investigations to be carried out against the regional chairperson and the secretary of the Nyanga branch.

Among other charges, it was alleged that he was guilty of misconduct in that he participated in an unconstitutional act by writing a letter to the PEC requesting that the financial investigations on the finances of the region be put on hold pending the return of the books from the auditors.

Disciplinary outcomes ruled that Mahobe is not allowed to hold any leadership position for two terms (six years), and Tinise and Nqanda were not allowed to occupy any leadership position for a term (three years).

A resolution was taken at a meeting at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha on Thursday to go and picket outside provincial offices this week, to hand over a memorandum with the list of demands and for the office to reinstate the expelled leaders.

Sadtu provincial secretary Jonovin Rustin said: “This is an internal matter and an appeal has been submitted to the national executive committee (NEC).” He said in line with union protocol, they don't discuss internal matters in the media. However, the union aims to unite all the workers.

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Sadtu provincial secretary Jonovin Rustin. Picture: Jason Boud/African News Agency

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke disputed claims that he was not responding to members saying he had acknowledged letters, and protocol was very simple.

“Appeals are heard by the national executive committee (NEC) and that’s what's in the response. Any revolutionary must be preoccupied by uniting workers,” Maluleke said.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education, Khalid Sayed, said it understood an appeal was pending.

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“We respect the independence of Sadtu and urge them to resolve their internal matters in the best manner possible so they can best serve teachers in our schools,” Sayed said.

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Cape Argus

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