As well as MPs, Tuesday 18 February’s Basic Education Portfolio Committee meeting was attended by Minister Angie Motshegka and other members of her department including recently re-instated Director-General (DG) Bobby Soobrayan – this after a disciplinary process cleared him of financial mismanagement and other wrong doing as alleged by the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU).
Towards the end of the meeting, People’s Assembly happened to catch a Power FM news tweet that read: “#Sadtu The return of Bobby (Soobrayan) as DG of basic education is nothing short of a declaration of war”.
Earlier today SADTU called an urgent press briefing in Johannesburg post Soobrayan's return to the Department of Basic Education yesterday to notify the public that they would be serving notice of a teacher’s strike. PowerFM news went on to tweet that SADTU’s top brass would be meeting with its members at their head office tomorrow to discuss the DG who they blame for teachers leaving the system because of a lack of incentives and his “phobia for collective bargaining”.
After the meeting People’s Assembly asked Mr Soobrayan to respond to these allegations, with SADTU labelling his re-appointment as a declaration of war in particular.
"I'll leave that response to the Minister. The Minister is dealing with that matter; I'll leave it entirely to her.” Soobrayan said.
Earlier in the meeting Minister Motshekga welcomed back the DG and said that he had been cleared of all allegations. Minutes later while briefing the Portfolio Committee, Soobrayan said that he was “very happy to be back at my desk”. Various MPs all seemed happy to welcome him back to the fold, with many of them (predominantly ANC members) shaking his hand and exchanging warm greetings both before and after the meeting.
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