Teacher allegedly fired for showing support for Isreal, still awaiting clarity
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Durban: Sudesh Mooloo, a Gauteng teacher, who was allegedly fired for showing support for Israel, is still waiting for clarity on the termination of his employment contract.
Mooloo, 52, an Afrikaans teacher at Laudium Secondary School in Gauteng, posted a WhatsApp status, which said: "I am not anti-Palestine but I am anti-Hamas. I stand with Israel."
The status was posted two weeks ago.
Mooloo had received several calls and messages criticising him as well as threatening him and his family.
He was accused of being a lover of children being killed and told he was a supporter of apartheid.
A day after the post, the father of three was allegedly told by the principal that the school governing body wanted to terminate his contract.
He then received a WhatsApp message from a resident that was sent to the community stating his contract with the school was terminated.
Estelle Holworthy, his relative, said Moolo has still not received any clarity on the matter.
"He has tried to call the principal but his calls are ignored. He has not returned to school. Sudesh needs clarity on the matter. The Department of Education thinks he is on sick leave. This is not the case. His whole life it at a standstill."
Holworthy said Mooloo had also met community leaders in Laudium to explain his comment.
"He told them that his comment was not to harm or hurt anyone. He posted 'stand with Israel' because it was what the Bible instructed him to do. It was not his political perspective. His freedom of speech was violated and what is happening to him is not fair."
Steve Mobana, spokesperson for the Department of Education in Gauteng, said Mooloo had not been dismissed but was on sick leave. He was unable to comment further on the matter.
On Facebook, readers shared their views.
Hajara Fu wrote: "Teachers have to take a neutral stand no matter what the circumstances. He is of course entitled to his own opinion outside the classroom as long as he does not voice this to his pupils.WhatsApp is private so there is no reason for his dismissal. We should all remember that there are innocent victims on both sides. If we are striving for peace, then our demonstrations should not be about pro-Palestine and anti-Israe l... it should be about ... peace... and not taking sides."
Laine Kisten Pillai wrote: "Let people have their right to choose for themselves. Those to who stand with Palestine have their reasons and those who stand with Israel have theirs. This is a democratic country, its not at all fair to this teacher to be fired for something based on his personal beliefs. He did not say he condones the killing of children.. the statement he made did not go against any of our laws so this is wrong. Give people their freedom to choose. Dont shove beliefs down throats. We pray for the peace between Israel and Palestine."
Shaista Buntting wrote: "It's not about freedom of speech, its about empathy and feeling for the innocent kids, parents, grandparents, father and mother. Even if tables was turned and Palestine was killing the innocent Israel kids we will feel the same way. A person who encourages such behaviour speaks volumes about themselves especially a person who is dealing with kids. Clearly shows if one of his students had to be killed it will just be another number."
Farzana Moolla wrote: "You know what's not fair? It is those innocent little children getting killed in the worse way possible. Watch the videos, take time and see how they are living and then you would wonder how can any human say I stand with Israel when they do the most barbaric things. How would our lives be if we were still under apartheid."