31 July 2017
The South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU) condemns in the strongest terms, the conduct of teachers who demand sex from learners in exchange for high marks and other favours as reported in a Sunday newspaper.
The newspaper reported that an NGO in Thohoyandou conducted a study in six schools in the region and found that 129 pupils had been propositioned by teachers last year. At one of the schools, eight in ten of the pupils said they did not believe they had power to say no when teachers demanded sex. 25 pupils at one school disclosed that teachers had made sexual advances this year alone.
Such conduct, which is done by a minority of teachers, is doing untold damage to the teaching profession. For SADTU as a revolutionary union that is committed to ensuring that members are agents of change and champions of people's education for people's power, such conduct is clearly not acceptable. As custodians of education, teachers are the last to use this tool, which is meant to improve the lives of learners, to abuse and impoverish them. Teachers serve as parents (loco parentis) to the learners they teach, they therefore have a duty not only to teach but to protect them from every form of abuse.
SADTU therefore calls upon the South African Council for Educators (SACE) to investigate the matter and take the harshest sanction against the perpetrators by striking them off the roll so that the never teach our children (the future of this nation) again. We further call upon the branch of SADTU to establish facts if any of those alleged teachers are members of SADTU and take drastic actions against them because the code of conduct of SADTU is very clear about such despicable actions.
It is sad to note that with 23 years into the new democracy and a world renowned Constitution which enshrines equality for all, South Africa is still a patriarchal society. Most men still believe that women are their subjects. Education should play a critical role towards changing such perceptions and norms. Our education needs to empower our girl learners who grow up in this society to know that men have no power on their bodies. Their bodies are not a commodity to used buy marks, buy lunch or have hairdo.
To show our strongest condemnation and disgust against the abuse of learners, women and children, the Union will on Saturday, 12 August 2017, hold a national march in Soweto against abuse of children, women and LGBTI's. Provincial marches will follow thereafter.
More detail on these marches will be released in due course.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157