'Insulted' Sadtu, ANC hit back at Ramphele
The SA Democratic Teachers' Union has accused academic Mamphela Ramphele of hating the black government because of her scathing attack on the union's members earlier this week.
Ramphele was speaking at the University of Cape Town on Tuesday on issues that included education. She slammed the ANC and the way in which it governed.
She said her heart bled when she looked at the calibre of teachers "because we're condemning young, poor kids to being left in the hands of people who can't look after themselves".
"Many of those teachers who are members of Sadtu are alcoholics, some are hooked on drugs and many are indebted to no end," Ramphele said.
Yesterday, Mugwena Maluleke, Sadtu's general secretary, described Ramphele's comments as derogatory and ill-informed.
"[It] is beyond insult. It is blatantly defamatory," said Maluleke.
"For a person who once said Bantu education was better that the current system, we should not be surprised by such assertions because it proves our suspicion that she has a deep hatred for our government and any power in the hands of a black majority."
He said education was a "societal matter" the failure of which should not be blamed on any one sector .
Maluleke said the union had launched the Curtis Nkondo Development Institute to train and develop teachers after the closure of teacher colleges.
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the party would not engage in public arguments with Ramphele.
"She does participate in government structures. It doesn't make sense why she finds it easy to go out in public and castigate the ANC government and the president.
"The ANC is the only organisation in this country that introduced democracy and that will jealously guard against any threat to democracy in this country," he said.