25 April 2013
South Africa is a democratic country governed by a Constitution that is anchored on a vision that promotes human dignity, human rights and freedom, non-racialism and non-sexism.
Government is therefore shocked and disappointed at the behaviour of members of the South African Democratic Teachers Union, who infringed on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s right to human dignity and non-sexism by publicly displaying a piece of underclothing attributed to her.
This act is not only demeaning to Minister Motshekga but to every South African women. Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams, said, “This kind of behaviour is degrading, disrespectful and infringes the rights of women which are enshrined in our hard fought for Constitution. It is very ironic that the trade unions who played an important role in the liberation struggle of our country and in particular the drafting of the Constitution are the very ones that are degrading the hard fought for freedoms".
“It is very worrying that such acts appear to be socially normalized and accepted. Whilst, South Africans enjoy the freedom to protest, they must exercise this freedom within the confinements of the law and uphold the values of our Constitution", said Williams.
Teachers are supposed to lead by examples and should always display good behavior as they as they have an enormous influence on the pupils.
Government calls on teachers, communities and society to seek for the promotion and advancement of the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. In particular, citizens should refrain from perpetuating gender-based stereotypes and violence and strive to uphold the principles of a free and democratic society.
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Issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)