It is an absolute disgrace that actions of violence intended to cause bodily harm as well as utterances to do so in order to settle differences, is still rearing its ugly head in our democratic dispensation. A Sadtu official, Honjiswa Mrwebi, who is also a teacher and chairperson of the Hewu-branch of the union in the Whittlesea area outside Queenstown purposefully and with intent tried to run DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Masibuko over with her vehicle on Friday, 13 April 2012. Lindiwe and I were walking with learners from Mbekweni village to their school, Zweledinga High, which is more than 12km from their homes.

These pupils have been denied scholar transport and as such this walk was staged in solidarity with the learners to highlight their plight and the inefficiency of the Department of Education to serve these deserving learners.

This woman, who openly advocated violence, must be subjected to a departmental inquest and punitive measures instituted against her if found guilty. This official is a disgrace to the teaching fraternity and through her actions has demonstrated to those who she is supposed to mould, nurture and teach that it is OK to revert to violence if you are in disagreement with people.

I have spoken to the Superintendent-General of the Department of Education, Adv. Modidima Mannya, who confirmed that this disgraceful and embarrassing incident will be investigated internally. I have also phoned Education MEC Mandla Makupula to ascertain what he will do about this educator’s violent and unacceptable behaviour towards a duly elected public representative. We as politicians have the right to vigorously perform our oversight responsibility and to expose shortcomings within government department systems. We have the right to put alternatives on the table that will have an upward trajectory effect on the access and quality of service delivery without undue interferences from the public.

As provincial chairperson of the DA in the Eastern Cape I will be meeting with our executive as to what other actions we will be instituting. The DA in the Eastern Cape is contemplating laying criminal charges against this woman, who is contributing to the further decay of our moral societal fibre. She is a bad example of what an educator should be. We want this matter to be fully investigated by the department and the DA is going to demand a report as to what actions are being instituted against her. The actions by this official cannot be condoned and should be condemned by all and sundry.