Durban - The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in KZN says it cannot fathom being led by the Democratic Alliance (DA) or the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and thanked teachers for ensuring the ruling party retained power during the May 8 polls.
The union is, through its affiliation to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), in alliance with the ruling party and it even contributes funds for the party's election campaigns.
Speaking at a provincial general council of the union in Durban on Monday, the union's provincial chairperson, Phumlani Duma, said the African National Congress (ANC) won the elections because of Sadtu members' intensive efforts.
"We must thank you for making sure that the African National Congress wins the elections... I don't want to imagine a day where we would go back and be led at Ulundi (a reference to the IFP which preferred uLundi as the provincial capital) and be led by the DA. Thank you, comrades, for defending your rights and defending the revolution. Crying and with the challenges faced by the movement, you stood and never played with power and handed it over to the opposition" Duma said, adding that now the duty is to make sure the ANC delivers on the national democratic revolution.
The union and the DA have a frosty relationship as the latter often accuse the union of capturing the department of education and collapsing public schools. In response, the union often headbutt back and accuse the DA of harbouring apartheid hatred of it.
Firing on all fronts, Duma turned his guns to the ANC and the tripartite alliance which includes the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Cosatu). He questioned whether the alliance is functioning as requested, implying that the ANC uses them for votes and dump them thereafter.
"The question comrade is the alliance still leading in that common goal? Do we only need each other merely because we are heading for the elections? At times comrades (Sadtu members) come to pitch for a campaign rally and get asked who they are and what are they doing here... As the alliance, we should not view each other as campaign partners only and thereafter the others are chased away and others are left alone in the table. We are not about deployments, include us in decisions making," Duma said.
The SACP in the province has in the past raised similar concerns and argued that the way the alliance functions must be revised to make all alliance members equal partners in decision making.