SADTU KwaZulu Natal media statement following allegations of corruption

20 February 2018

The Provincial Executive Committee of SADTU in KwaZulu Natal has observed and noted the messages that are in circulation including the article that appeared in Ilanga newspaper on Monday,19 February 2018, and attracted headlines of "Izinsolo zenkohlakalo esabekayo kwi SADTU" translated as "Damning allegations of corruption against SADTU"

The leadership of the union has once again properly analysed these new developments informed by obtaining challenges that the author of the spurious letter is facing. The PEC is viewing these allegations levelled against SADTU and its leadership in a serious light. They are part of a well-planned broader agenda intended to both displace and liquidate SADTU. SADTU takes the view that because the allegations were put in the public domain through social media platforms, then a newspaper article and communicated to different credible organisations, we equally needed to respond publicly. First and foremost, as it is well known that Mr Mbuyiseni Simon Mathonsi is the former Provincial Secretary of this union he today conveniently attacks to elevate himself while playing victim mentality. SADTU needs to remind the public that the union declared Mr Mathonsi as an enemy of the union in 2015 and that position was conveyed to the public through a media briefing where we raised the following reasons:

  • Mr Mathonsi voluntarily left the Union in October 2014 to work in the Office of the Premier but he was so active in caucuses and discussions about who must become the Provincial Secretary after him. This was ill discipline of the highest order from a person who praises himself of good moral standing.
  • Mr Mathonsi never abandoned his desires to have his handpicked people as leaders of this union after he had failed in November 2014 PGC internal elections. For him he wanted people he would be able to work with to control and have a firm grip on the union post his era. He has in essence run out of possible candidates who hold primitive loyalty to him to be part of this union leadership.
  •  It is common knowledge that he tried without success to influence the outcomes of our elective meetings in the processes of 2015 in our Durban South Region while he was already not a member of this union.
  • Some of the things include the destabilisation of the Union in Durban South Region to the extent that the elective meeting that newspapers reported about had to be redone as his group of people caused chaos. His people had gone to the extent of bussing people from other regions to come and cause chaos as it was clear that he was not to see the light of the day.
  • Mr Mathonsi has been busy convening members of SADTU whilst he was no longer a member and he never rested that is why at all times when the union approaches elective conferences and meetings he would be at the forefront in the discussions about leadership. This includes the last Provincial Conference in May 2017. In all these attempts he has never succeeded hence the anger and hatred towards SADTU and its leadership.
  • Members of the public need to ask themselves why after going to the high offices like the office of the Premier and the Department of Agriculture occupying high positions would he want to come back to education to be a principal for that matter. Indeed, he qualifies but it must be of concern as to why he is adopting downward movement when other people are hoping for upward movement. The other question is why is he so obsessed about leading and wanting to install leadership that will take orders from him? We could agree that education department particular in schools remains his only avenue of employment prospects considering his controversial departure from his very last employer.

The current leadership of SADTU shall not allow this union to be micro-managed by any outsider who had his time and voluntarily opted to leave. The leadership cannot allow a situation where the union can be held at ransom by an individual who seem not to have the interest of the Union but his own.
Our position on and commitment to fight against corruption, to root out any divisive tendencies within SADTU thus having an organisation free from any factional tendencies has earned us enemies represented by a few disgruntled persons. The leadership wrote to all members in 2015 directing them to dissociate themselves with factions to the extent of writing to the faction he belonged to. We have also decisively disciplined the Chairperson of his faction called JZ. Mathonsi in his message states that he applied because he was approached by members of this faction later called JZI. What is JZI?

SADTU will never stand on anybody's way who intends to form his own political party or union and he must be clear and venture into that space without hurling insults at SADTU. We have observed them wearing the JZI paraphernalia in the form of ties, doek and wreath for two members of the union who passed on in 2017.

SADTU would work collaboratively with anyone or any organisation that is genuinely committed to fighting corruption, fraud, any form of malpractice and its manifestation. It would therefore be of critical importance for him and his cronies to openly state the objectives and activities of their organisation in relation to delivery of education in KZN. We would not want to delve into the circumstances surrounding his controversial departure from the Department of Agriculture recently.

It is part of our duties to engage with the employer on various issues as a legitimate recognised education workers' union in KZN. The Provincial Secretariat lead the communication machine and protocol between SADTU and the department as the employer. These are exactly the responsibilities Mathonsi carried out during his tenure as attached to the position of the Provincial Secretary. Any allegations of wrong doing or any form of malpractice to which we remain averse are always raised with any corresponding departmental official by any leader of SADTU. SADTU therefore denies all corruption allegations levelled against the Union and its Provincial Secretary. They are only a figment of the imagination of a hopeless individual.

However, in view of the serious nature of these allegations, SADTU has directed her lawyers to handle this matter to ensure that it is expeditiously concluded to avoid further grandstanding. To that end we will not delve much on this issue.

SADTU further calls on all institutions empowered to investigate matters of this nature to quickly conduct investigation and to ensure that they leave no stone unturned. Most importantly SADTU calls on the Department of Education to demonstrate some commitment to fight corruption and malpractices by appointing an independent investigator to thoroughly investigate issues related to appointments particularly at Umlazi District, notorious for its mishandling of appointment processes.

We sharply raised the mishandling of promotion posts processes in Umlazi. We remain disturbed by the fact that the HOD has not found it imperative to act on issues of concern as raised by the union and as such wrongdoing continue to take place.

Members of SADTU must rest assured that the union will continue to raise all issues affecting education including not being silenced when fighting corruption. It is because of such programmes that the union keeps on growing despite numerous attacks by some who are not comfortable with the positions the union sometimes take. It is on this basis that we remind all members to be vigilant wherever they are and expose all forms of irregularities, corruption and inconsistencies including people who are hell-bent on wrongdoing and hope to intimidate and threaten SADTU members, school governing bodies and authorities.

Some of these blatant actions include:

  • Assault of legitimate observer and a leader of SADTU at his home by a departmental official.
  • intimidation of a SADTU observer and leader by a gun wielding applicant.
  • Usurping of SGB powers by some officials for the appointment processes

Lastly on this issue SADTU would like to remind all applicants and aspiring applicants that there is a grievance procedure which is easily available for use in times of need. The employer on the other hand must protect the integrity of its grievance procedure by ensuring that it attends to all applicants concerns fairly and expeditiously

Issued by the Provincial Secretariat on behalf of the Provincial Executive Committee

Nomarashiya Caluza
Provincial Secretary
082 611 7027

Bheki Shandu
Deputy Provincial Secretary
082 611 7028