Teachers’ union wants apology from EFF over election monitors role
The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has hit out at the EFF for its “intimidatory” comments over their members' participation as election monitors.
Sadtu wants an apology and said it will not hesitate to take appropriate action to protect its members against “unlawful and intimidatory conduct”.
On Tuesday the EFF instructed all its ground forces to be “vigilant and ensure they identify any affiliates of Sadtu who represent the South African Electoral Commission (IEC) in any form at voting stations”.
“Sadtu is an affiliate of the ruling party and of Cosatu, and have publicly declared their support for the ruling party. Therefore they are unfit to be the custodians of a democratic election. The role of IEC employees must be given to unemployed, competent and literate individuals, not partisan individuals who have declared their interest in the outcomes of the elections,” said the EFF.
Sadtu said the EFF's statements border on hate speech, unfair discrimination and an incitement to harm people.
“The statements are also calculated to frustrate the efforts of the IEC to conduct a free and fair election, as has been the case since the dawn of democracy,” it said.
The union said the EFF statements demonstrate an aggravated level of ignorance of the rights and responsibilities of South Africans in supporting constitutional democracy.
“The EFF appears unable to distinguish between a trade union and a political party. Neither Cosatu nor Sadtu are political parties.
“The law only prohibits persons who hold senior positions in political parties from being appointed as election officials. Members of trade unions, including Sadtu, have a right in law to be appointed as election officers if they meet the requirements.
“Sadtu encourages members of every trade union to avail themselves to serve their nation as election officers and to ensure a free and fair election,” said the union.
EFF leader Julius Malema took to social media to announce no apology or retraction would be forthcoming.
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