The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) on Tuesday lambasted President Jacob Zuma for the unexpected Cabinet reshuffle in which Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande was axed.
“This reshuffle is not solving our problems. We wanted the minister [Nzimande] to solve the issues that we are raising here. By reshuffling him, he [Zuma] has totally lost his mind,” Sadtu general secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, said speaking to journalists during a massive protest in Pretoria.
“We don’t think he [Zuma] respects the people of this country. We are going to mobilise, to ensure that he steps down as president of our country.”
On Tuesday, Zuma announced his second Cabinet reshuffle for 2017.
Regarding the mass protest in Pretoria, Maluleke said the protesting teachers were demanding a pay progression which is on par with other civil servants.
“We are tired of seeing teachers resigning. We want teachers to remain in education. We want them to retire at the correct age because they must be recognised that they are also important like the [other] public servants who are receiving the 1.5 percent [pay progression],” said Maluleke as he handed the memorandum of demands to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
“In seven days, if we don’t get a response, we will go to Union Buildings. We will ensure that the President walks out of the Union Buildings, and a new president must come in.”
Motshekga told the protesters that Sadtu’s demands would be conveyed at the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
“It’s not entirely in my hands but I do undertake to process, to report as far as possible. I receive the memorandum with humility and all respect. We will be able to come back to you,” Motshekga said.