28 October 2013

South Africa: Sadtu - Teaching and Politics in a Time of Division


The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) will not support Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi in his bid to be reinstated. At its National General Council (NGC) on Sunday the union used the standard diplomatic platitudes to say it's okay if he gets the boot.

As students start matric exams today, Sadtu also discussed issues of education and raised a worrying question of the crossover between political allegiance and teaching.

In the final declarations of Sadtu's NGC on Sunday, the union affirms its commitment to the tripartite alliance and calls for members to support the decision to suspend Vavi. It denounces the actions of unions like the National Union of Metalworkers SA (Numsa), which has taken Cosatu to court over the issue and refuses to accept the decisions of Cosatu's Central Executive Committee (CEC). It pointedly rejects calls for a Cosatu special congress, the requirements for which were met last month but doesn't look like occurring in the near future.

Sadtu's resolutions don't auger well for Vavi, who was suspended after admitting to having sex with a junior employee at Cosatu House. The suspension has brought the federation's factionalism to the fore and involved both the ANC...

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