|2012 08 22 Court action threatened if teachers not paid|
The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is threatening to bring a contempt of court application against the education department, if it fails to pay temporary teachers who were recently reinstated into the department.
The department of education was given until last Friday, by the Grahamstown High Court, to pay outstanding salaries to about 1800 temporary teachers.
The affected temporary teachers were reinstated after they were sacked in December 2011 amid reports that the department ran out funds.
LRC director Sarah Sephton warned that if all temporary teachers were not paid by close of business today, the centre would proceed with a contempt of court application against the department of basic education.
Sephton said she has received a letter written by the department clarifying it had problems in instantly paying the temporary teachers.
"I welcome their pledge that the temporary teachers will be paid but this must be done as soon as possible.
"We expect full adherence with every aspect of the court order. If they are unable or unwilling to comply with the court order we trust that the Minister Angie Motshekga understands her obligations and will ensure that the order is implemented in full," said Sephton.
The department of education provincial spokesperson, Loyiso Pulumani, could not comment yesterday, saying he was yet to meet with department's officials on the matter. The department's acting head of department Mthunywa Ngonzo told The New Age the teachers would be paid at the end of the month.
A senior education official who cannot be named said is worried about the "negative image" the department continues to receive from the public.
"There is something we are not told by the officials. They said we must submit the entire necessary documents for the payment of temporary teachers and we did that but nothing has materialised. It is frustrating to work for this department," said the official.
The New Age