On Friday, the DA Shadow MEC for Education, Edmund Van Vuuren MPL laid criminal charges of intimidation against SADTU and NEHAWU.

The Democratic Alliance marched to the Eastern Cape Education Department to deliver a memorandum of demands aimed at ensuring there is a teacher in every classroom in the province.

We were met by SADTU and NEHAWU members staging an illegal gathering on arrival at the Education Department. They then proceeded to intimidate DA supporters using sticks.

The DA was unable to hand over the memorandum to the SG due to the volatile situation, which was caused by NEHAWU and SADTU members.

One would think that SADTU would support the DA’s position that every classroom should have a quality teacher in it. Yet, they obstructed us in our attempts to have our say in the matter.

But, as always, politics trumps reason when it comes to SADTU.

The DA has opened a criminal case to prevent such an incident from happening again. Such actions should never be condoned.

We are grateful for the support of the police in handling the situation, but we feel that they could have acted more assertively.

The DA will continue to put sustained pressure on the Eastern Cape government to do the right thing and keep the teachers in our children’s classrooms.