Pray, burn incense or sprinkle water to ensure that the upcoming ANC national elective conference in December is a success.
This was said by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa while delivering a keynote address at the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union’s national general council meeting, which was held at the union’s newly opened Matthew Goniwe House in Kempton Park this afternoon.
He said Sadtu and ANC members, who would be sent as delegates at the conference, needed to behave themselves.
His remarks followed an incident in which delegates threw chairs at each other at the ANC Eastern Cape provincial elective conference over the weekend.
Earlier, Ramaphosa unveiled the new Sadtu headquarters and was welcomed by delegates who sang “on your marks, get set, we are ready for Ramaphosa” in reference to their support for his election as ANC president in the upcoming conference.
Ramaphosa said only a united ANC would be able to pursue transformation.
“Right now, people want a revamped economy, reduced unemployment rate and inclusive economy. This conference will give us a great opportunity. Pray, burn incense, sprinkle water ... do it to make the conference a success.”
Sadtu leaders had indicated to him that their unity was based on principle, he said.
“Unity does not fall from the heaven. It’s a process we need to nurture. We must have the courage to acknowledge where there is no unity and forgo factions that divide the movement. We must take action by sticking to principles and uphold the values of the movement and tell the truth, not lies, to each other. We should be willing to listen to the other side. Comrades must find one another,” Ramaphosa said.
“We all have a responsibility to be respective, honest and constructive in our engagements. We cannot disrupt meetings and throw chairs. We must rid our movement of flying chairs and the spate of killings.”
He said these were sometimes motivated by individuals wanting to grab resources and positions and this must stop immediately because this blemishes the movement.
Ramaphosa said Sadtu should make its voice heard at the December conference and contribute towards the election of a leadership that will take the country forward.
He said Sadtu and other unions had to lead the fight to improve the standard of education in the country.
Sadtu must continue to skill young people to be better citizens tomorrow, who will benefit to a transformed economy, Ramaphosa said.
Young people would also take up key positions in state-owned enterprises that are being led by corrupt individuals, who siphon off millions of rands and get them to the pockets of certain people, he said.
He also urged Sadtu leaders to be involved in boards of state-owned enterprises, including the Public Investment Corporation, to ensure that the interests of their members were looked after.