Sadtu’s trail of sex and bribery

Union mem­bers and ed­u­ca­tion officials im­pli­cated in foren­sic re­port com­mis­sioned by North West de­part­ment

CityPress - - News - SIPHO MA­SONDO sipho.ma­sondo@city­press.co.za

Never mind read­ing, writ­ing and arith­metic – mem­bers of the SA Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union (Sadtu) in North West are al­legedly more likely to be in­volved in bribery, in­tim­i­da­tion and ex­chang­ing sex for jobs. This is ac­cord­ing to a foren­sic re­port com­mis­sioned by the North West de­part­ment of ed­u­ca­tion into the union’s af­fairs in the province.

The re­port – which City Press has ob­tained a copy of – was com­piled by Nexus Foren­sic Ser­vices in 2011, and im­pli­cates both Sadtu and the de­part­ment’s own officials.

The de­part­ment said it was on the verge of pros­e­cut­ing some of the in­di­vid­u­als im­pli­cated, but stopped be­cause wit­nesses al­legedly told officials the re­port was rid­dled with in­ac­cu­ra­cies.

De­part­ment spokesper­son Brian Setswambung said: “Fur­ther­more, the le­gal opinion so­licited by the de­part­ment also pointed to the ex­is­tence of fac­tual in­ac­cu­ra­cies, which led to the de­part­ment not pro­ceed­ing with the dis­ci­plinary process.”

But sev­eral sources in the de­part­ment said it was merely try­ing to sweep the whole mat­ter “un­der the car­pet”.

One source told City Press that in 2012, the then head of de­part­ment re­moved the power to ap­point prin­ci­pals from the district of­fices to the head of­fice be­cause of the ex­plo­sive claims con­tained in the re­port.

Last month, Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga an­nounced the mem­bers of a task team that will in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged sale of po­si­tions in all prov­inces. This came af­ter City Press in April ex­posed a jobs-for-cash scam al­legedly spear­headed by Sadtu officials. Among the in­ci­dents con­tained in the re­port are:

The al­leged sale, in July 2010, of a head of de­part­ment po­si­tion to a fe­male teacher by a Sadtu re­gional sec­re­tary in the Bo­janala district. The post was al­legedly bought for R3 000. The Sadtu man al­legedly told the teacher the money was for a se­nior of­fi­cial in the de­part­ment, but the po­si­tion was not forth­com­ing.

A brawl be­tween a high school teacher and a cir­cuit man­ager af­ter the man­ager al­legedly promised the teacher’s wife a job in ex­change for sex.

The re­port reads: “Dur­ing of­fi­cial work­ing hours, the cir­cuit man­ager took the ed­u­ca­tor’s wife to Swazi­land for two days where they had a hol­i­day. It is not known if the de­part­ment paid for this trip.

Dur­ing of­fi­cial work­ing hours, the cir­cuit man­ager took the ed­u­ca­tor’s wife to Swazi­land for two days where they had a hol­i­day. It is not known if the de­part­ment paid for this trip. The teacher has now in­sti­tuted a civil claim against the cir­cuit man­ager. No fur­ther de­tail is avail­able on whether the sex hap­pened and if the woman got the job she was promised

RE­PORT

The teacher has now in­sti­tuted a civil claim against the cir­cuit man­ager. No fur­ther de­tail is avail­able on whether the sex hap­pened and if the woman got the job she was promised.”

The ap­point­ment, al­legedly through in­ter­fer­ence by a pow­er­ful Sadtu mem­ber in North West, of an un­qual­i­fied and com­puter-il­lit­er­ate ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant at a mid­dle school.

“He was ap­pointed to a po­si­tion that re­quired com­puter skills with­out ful­fill­ing this re­quire­ment. The school is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems as he can­not prop­erly utilise a com­puter,” the re­port reads.

The foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors ac­cused the Sadtu of­fi­cial of “go­ing to great lengths” to en­sure the can­di­date was short-listed and em­ployed.

A district direc­tor was ac­cused of putting a ju­nior teacher into the po­si­tion of deputy chief ed­u­ca­tion spe­cial­ist – a three-level jump.

The re­quire­ments for the po­si­tion in­cluded man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence and seven years of teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, ac­cord­ing to the in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

The can­di­date, who was a high-rank­ing Sadtu of­fi­cial in the province, didn’t have man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence and although he claimed he had seven years of ex­pe­ri­ence as an English and his­tory teacher, this wasn’t proved.

Mem­bers of the in­ter­view­ing panel raised ques­tions about the can­di­date’s lack of ex­pe­ri­ence, but the direc­tor al­legedly said can­di­dates should be eval­u­ated on marks they score dur­ing in­ter­views and not on their ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge.

In sev­eral cases, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found that min­utes of meet­ings were al­legedly changed to re­flect that a spe­cific can­di­date had been rec­om­mended for an ap­point­ment when this wasn’t the case.

The au­di­tors had harsh words for Sadtu officials in the province, say­ing they of­ten “ac­tively pur­sued the in­clu­sion of their mem­bers on short lists”, adding: “They were also out­spo­ken, ag­gres­sive and in­tim­i­dat­ing dur­ing the short-list­ing process. They were also il­le­gally in­volved in the sift­ing process of ap­pli­cants dur­ing the short-list­ing phase [in sev­eral cases].

“The ev­i­dence col­lected in­di­cates that the unions do not keep to the role of ob­ser­va­tion as­signed to them in terms of the de­part­ment cir­cu­lars but in­ter­fere in the process to the ex­tent of in­tim­i­dat­ing the short-list­ing and in­ter­view panels,” it said in the re­port.

Sadtu’s out­go­ing provin­cial sec­re­tary, Thabo Se­ma­tle, said: “I don’t have the re­port, so we don’t know the ex­tent to which we are im­pli­cated. We will re­spond once we have seen the re­port.”

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