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School CP - December 2001
African Eye News Service, Nelspruit, 5 December 2001
Teachers Accuse Private School Owner of Victimising ThemBy Dumisane Lubisi
Two teachers at a controversial private school in Mpumalanga claim they have been victimised for speaking out against corporal punishment and seeking union intervention.
Vusi Nyakane and Mandla Hlatshwayo of Cefups Academy in Nelspruit say they have been paid later than their colleagues for the past two months.
They have reported the matter to the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) for intervention.
Sadtu's Lowveld regional secretary Rasheed Matola confirmed that the two teachers were paid only on Tuesday and that the cheques were crossed, which means the money will take another week to clear.
"This is unacceptable considering that other teachers at the school have were paid at the end of November," said Matola.
He said attempts to contact Cefups president Simon Mkhatshwa were fruitless.
"We can't find him anywhere and even drove to the school but he wasn't there," said Matola.
School principal George Mahlangu, who received his salary on November 30, said only Mkhatshwa could answer questions about the two teachers' late salary payments.
"I don't work with salaries and am only the principal of the school," he said.
Mkhathswa could not be reached on his cell phone.
Mkhatshwa had fired both teachers earlier this year for allegedly asking Sadtu to intervene in problems like corporal punishment at the school.
The teachers had allegedly refused to be publicly flogged by Mkhatshwa, who is notorious for whipping both pupils and teachers alike.
The two teachers were only reinstated in June this year after Sadtu and the education department intervened.
Cefups made national headlines earlier this year when about 150 pupils marched to the provincial legislature in May in protest against conditions at the school.
The march drew the attention of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) who sent commissioners to Cefups on a fact-finding mission.
A task team of parents, school management, department of education officials, and representatives of Sadtu and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) was formed to try resolve the school's problems.
The task team also aimed to address pupils' discipline, adherence to labour relation laws, hostel accommodation, school fees and general school governance.
The school has since stopped practicing corporal punishment. - African Eye News Service
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© Colin Farrell 2002
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