The President of NAPTOSA, Mr Basil Manuel, reacting to reports of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, which also impacted on schools, said in Pretoria today that NAPTOSA and all its members were shocked by these callous attacks. NAPTOSA condemned these attacks in the strongest possible terms as an affront on the dignity of all South Africans.
Mr Manuel stated that NAPTOSA, as a union of education professionals, is particularly concerned about the impact of these attacks on, teachers and learners. Schools, he said, have been left without the services of critical teachers who have been too afraid to report for duty. Learners have also been unsettled by the violence and some foreign nationals learners have been intimidated by their peers and have as a result missed out on schooling.
NAPTOSA calls on all teachers of worth to stand up against these dastardly acts. Mr Manuel further called on schools to protect foreign national teachers who provide a sterling service to the Country. NAPTOSA appeals to all teachers to use the power of education to fulfil their role as nation-builders and inculcate a culture of tolerance, acceptance and respect for all people irrespective of nationality, race, colour, culture or religious faith.
Mr Manuel also deplored the actions of criminals exploiting the current situation by looting property and businesses as well as the assault of foreign nationals and called for decisive law enforcement.
Mr Manuel reassured schools and teachers affected by xenophobic disruption of NAPTOSA’s support and called on all South Africans to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu as taught by the late President, Nelson Mandela. Mr Manuel appealed to the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshega, to ensure that additional security is provided to schools in areas of conflict and called on all politicians and persons of influence to speak out against xenophobia.
In conclusion, Mr Manuel said that South Africans are the only losers if these tragic attacks continue, as our standing in Africa and the World will suffer the fall-out of this madness. He also stated that South Africans have shown that they can rise above adversity and embrace a culture of care and support for all people in our Country.