New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Disgruntled Teachers Demand Special Congress

Rundu — Teachers in Kavango have capitulated to the court interdicts and are heeding calls to end the illegal strike, but are now demanding an urgent Namibian National Teachers Union (Nantu) congress to get rid of the union's embattled secretary general Basilius Haingura.

Speaking to New Era on Monday, a group of disgruntled teachers alleged that Haingura and the entire Nantu leadership failed to represent and protect the interests of Namibian teachers during the recently concluded negotiations with government.

"We are demanding a congress so that we can elect new leaders. As we are speaking, we are just waiting for forms from Nantu so that we can vote in favour of the special congress," said Interim Committee chairman Immanuel Jombi.

With most schools set to commence their final year examinations on Friday, November 16, the teachers have now changed their initial stance on the 'outstanding 32 percent'. "We are not against government, but at the same time we are also not happy with the way they have negotiated. We want our 13th cheque to be tax-free, to receive a 100 percent transport allowance and at the same time to get a housing allowance of more than N$2 000," said Jombi.

Haingura's response to the call for a special congress is that for teachers to convene such a congress they must do so by following the right procedures. "I am requesting the members to convene a regional conference, from which the notion should receive a two-thirds majority vote. There is no way I can do my personal things, while working for Nantu because I am also a member," he shot back.

"I was democratically elected at our previous congress, therefore the members must follow the right channels if they want me out," he said.

Haingura revealed that Nantu currently has more than 16 000 members who are teachers.

Meanwhile, the education director in the Kavango Region, Alfons Dikuua, confirmed to New Era that teachers have resumed their teaching duties.

"I even went to some schools, and learners are in class being taught," he said. There are 2733 teachers and 80 183 learners in the Kavango Region.

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