Education is grinding to a standstill in the Eastern Cape following the latest illegal action by Sadtu which has swept across the province this morning. The latest information I have received from the districts is that Sadtu has instructed — and in some cases forced — officials at these offices to vacate the premises.

This behaviour should be condemned by all of us who has the education of our children at heart. By illegally closing these offices numerous school-related issues will not be addressed.

The DA is appealing to the Premier and her Executive to step in and to prevent our education system from dissolving completely. This Executive has not taken any steps since the reopening of the Eastern Cape schools on 9 January to ensure that proper schooling takes place. Madam Premier now is the time for this Executive to stand up and be counted. We are not a banana republic and must never allow one group to trample on the Constitutional rights of another group.

I have today submitted legislature questions to the MEC for Education to explain why he is allowing the district offices to be closed by employees of the department and what he intends to do to resolve this whole issue.

Let us not allow Sadtu to use our children and legitimate institutions to enhance their own agenda in their fight with the Superintendent-General of the department, Adv. Modidima Mannya. Let us put a stop to the impasse between these antagonists.