SA’s Teachers’ unions appeared before the parliament on Wednesday to defend themselves on the issue concerning the recently compiled jobs for cash report.
The unions, including the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa, Suid Afrikaanse Onderwyserunie, Professional Educations Union (PEU) and the National Teachers Union (Natu) appeared before Parliament’s basic education committee on Wednesday where they slammed the speed at which the Jobs for cash scandal was compiled, the generalisations it contained and some of its recommendations.
There, the unions also called for those implicated in the report to be handed over to the police, instead of having the entire unions painted with corruption brush.
“It can’t be right that a union of 260 000 professionals, on the basis of [findings of wrongdoing] against seven teachers… blemishes all teachers,” Sadtu’s Nkosana Dolopi told the committee, speaking about how the ministerial task team’s “jobs for cash” report painted all of their members as corrupt, as opposed to the ones fingered in the report.
The controversial Job for Cash scandal presented by the ministerial task team stemmed from an investigation into allegations of teacher posts being “sold”.
This, according to Dolopi, resulted to generalisations with many pointing fingers at blacks as the criminals while the white are perfect, blond people are dumb or the ugly are poor.
This is not true, Dolopi said, and the union should not be viewed as corrupt in its entirety.
“Sadtu has no policy at all to encourage structures to sell posts,” he said. “They are not ashamed of being black, and not all of them are criminals or corrupt.
“We have good men and women who are professionals and do their job,” Dolopi said to the committee, asking them to arrest those implicated in the Jobs for cash report and stop “making noise”
Professional Educations Union (PEU) also charged the ministers not to hesitate arresting and punishing the criminals because this would ensure that the stigma,”which is hell-bent on discrediting the teachers profession, becomes uprooted”.
The union also expressed concern about the methodology used in the investigation.
The investigation started after City Press reported that principals’ positions were being sold for upwards of R30 000 and teachers’ posts were also being sold for livestock and cash amounts of as little as R6 000.