Picture: Matthew Jordaan African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) is allegedly planning to picket in solidarity with the seven black Eldorado Park Secondary teachers that the community does not want in the school after a dispute with the principal. 

According to the DA Shadow MEC for Education Khume Ramulifho, the planned picket is for October 11 and 14. 

Ramolifho said as the DA, they were calling on the department to address the matter urgently as learners cannot afford to lose a day of learning and teaching. 

He added that as part of the picket, some of the Sadtu-affiliated members in the Gauteng Central District have also planned not to submit learners’ marks and reports. 

“Sadtu does not prioritise learners interest on top of their agenda. It is unacceptable that learners must suffer because of a dispute between the union and the department,” Ramulifho said.

“The union is destroying the future of our children in the townships and many schools are closed down because of it," he added.

Ramulifho said the Gauteng Central Region was the worst performing region in the province and the union must be held accountable for the poor performance of the learners.

“Teachers are gambling with the future of our children as they are no longer committed to their core mandate of teaching, but instead are prioritising Sadtu's pickets during working hours,” he said.

“Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi must ensure that the union’s planned picket must not continue as planned because it will disrupt learning and teaching in the Gauteng Central Region,” he added. 

He further said the DA believes that the department has the responsibility to ensure that learners’ rights are protected at all times. 

“In this case, learning and teaching must take place without further disruption, particularly in township schools” he added.

The Star tried to get a comment from the department but Steve Mabona said he would respond later.

Sadtu provincial secretary in Gauteng, Tseliso Ledimo confirmed that there is a possibility for the picket, however, that will be determined after a meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 8. 

"It is not conclusive if we will be picketing on the said dates, but all will be confirmed after the meeting scheduled for tomorrow, October 8," he said. 

The Star