Union calls for teachers ‘to arm themselves’

Union calls for teachers ‘to arm themselves’

The Educators' Union of South Africa (EUSA) has expressed its frustration with the Department of Basic Education after a teacher was gunned down at a school in Folweni, south of Durban.

Mpumalnaga teacher

It's understood that an armed man entered the school on Tuesday morning and allegedly shot the teacher, who had been walking down a passage at the time.

EUSA claims that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has failed to heed their request that at least two police reservists be stationed at every school to ensure the safety of teachers and pupils.

The union is now calling on teachers to start carrying firearms.

"The situation is dire now for us to respond as teachers. We can't be receiving condolences every time, every month the teacher is killed in school. So we as an educators union of South Africa are saying: ‘Teachers, please we are pleading with you, defend yourselves. Your employer has repeatedly shown that they are not having your interests at heart when it comes to your safety. Defend yourself’.

"If, to defend yourself, it means you must have a gun with you, please do so. We encourage teachers to do that," says EUSA's general secretary, Siphiwe Mpungose.

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He says the union strongly believes the deployment of police officers would eliminate violence at schools.

"The two SAPS police reservists eliminates all possibilities for both teachers and learners, as well as property inside the school. So if they can listen to reason these people. It's just that they don't want to listen to reason because they are surrounded by bodyguards. How many police are in the national parliament guarding those MPs?

"Let them put proper security measures to safeguard the lives of teachers and learners, as well as property. That is our tax money in the school."

The educator's union has labelled Motshekga "emotionless".

"And this magogo [Angie Motshega] has proven more than enough that she cannot prove to reason because that lady is emotionless, she don't have any emotions that woman. She will quickly send condolences."

This call has been met with criticism from the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu).


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