Racism, tribalism, and regionalism condemned – SADTU

Nomusa Cembi |

05 September 2022

Union says its KZN Secretary has received a bashing on social media for questioning circular encouraging wearing of traditional Zulu attire

SADTU condemns racism, tribalism, and regionalism

3 September 2022

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has strongly condemned tribal and regional tendencies that seem to emerge, more especially in KwaZulu Natal, following the Union issuing a statement seeking clarity on a circular issued by the Provincial Department of Education requesting schools in the province to encourage learners and teachers to wear traditional attire on 30 August in honour of His Majesty, King Misuzulu kaZwelithini Zulu.

At the scheduled meeting of the NEC held on Thursday, 01 September at the Premier Hotel in Kempton Park, it rallied behind the Unions KwaZulu-Natal Secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza who has received vitriolic bashing on social media platforms accusing her of being anti-Zulu for questioning the Circular. Some have accused her of being Xhosa and therefore has no right to comment on matters pertaining to amaZulu

The NEC warned that tribalism would not advance the country. Instead, it will derail the countrys progress like it has done to Africa in general. Countries like Burundi suffered immensely due to tribalism.

The NEC reiterated that it never said that the coronation of King Misuzulu should not be celebrated. SADTU, like many people in our society, observed with immense pride the coronation of King Misuzulu. It concurred with the Department of Education that this historic moment should form part of the history taught in our schools.


Policies guiding South Africas public education institutions mandate that in celebrating diversity, no cultural ethos must be dominant over others in public schools. South Africa has dedicated 24 September as Heritage Day to honour and celebrate the countrys diverse heritage and cultures. Beyond Heritage Day there is no call on learners or education workers to wear specific cultural attire. SADTU fully embraces the day and the countrys diverse cultures. It does not want to see the country reverting to a state where one language and culture find expression in schools and greater society. Those who decided to single out our Provincial Secretary and labeled her as anti-Zulu must know that we need each other and cannot use the colonial creation of dividing our people using ethnic and tribal hate speech. We call upon them to engage on the human rights issues so that we build South Africa. To demonstrate our support to the Zulu monarchy our Provincial Chairperson of both SADTU and COSATU attended the coronation ceremony. We respect all our Africa; monarchies and we will collaborate with them to fight for quality education.

As a structure that oversees the running of the affairs of the Union, the NEC looked at among other things, preparations for the Union’s National General Meeting (NGC) to take place from 04 to 06 October. The NGC meet, at least, once in five years to ratify decisions on the National Executive Committee and adopt policy issues of major importance in between National Congresses. The Union is ready for the National General Council.

The NGC will, amongst others, assess progress on resolutions taken at the last National Congress:

I AM A SCHOOL FAN” campaign to mobilise all stakeholders to ensure the schooling environment is safe for effective teaching and learning.