Money, mur­der and maths

CityPress - - News -

Jab­u­lani Zwane – prin­ci­pal of Chatsworth’s Du­misani Makhaye Se­condary and lo­cal Sadtu branch sec­re­tary – is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for al­legedly forg­ing and back­dat­ing doc­u­ments to em­ploy a teacher from whom he later al­legedly de­manded a R17 000 bribe.

Teacher Si­fiso Zondi com­plained to of­fi­cials that Zwane had his salary back­dated by two months.

After Zondi was paid, Zwane de­manded “some of” the money, say­ing it “had to go to some of the peo­ple who ar­ranged the po­si­tion” for him.

A se­nior of­fi­cial at the prov­ince’s ed­u­ca­tion head of­fice in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said: “We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of fraud and bribery. It is clear that the state was used to pay for the po­si­tion.”

In his com­plaint state­ment to the de­part­ment, ob­tained by City Press, Zondi said he had taught at Du­misani Makhaye in 2009. After he was paid, Zwane told him at a meet­ing in Dur­ban to hand over a chunk of the money.

“My first with­drawal from that pay­ment was R10 000, but I gave him R9 000 on that day. After a few days, we met again and I gave him R8 000,” he said in the state­ment. Zondi con­firmed the con­tents of his state­ment to City Press.

Zwane con­firmed that Zondi taught at his school, but de­nied back­dat­ing his con­tract or tak­ing a bribe. He said: “I never took any­thing from him. I do not do those things.”

How­ever, the de­part­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Zwane in con­nec­tion with an­other case in which he al­legedly sneaked in an ap­pli­ca­tion for a teacher who had not ap­plied for a head of de­part­ment po­si­tion at Sa­van­nah Park Pri­mary in Chatsworth. Doc­u­ments City Press has seen re­veal that the teacher who got the job never ap­plied for it.

Zwane de­nied this, say­ing: “I was just the re­source per­son. I don’t do such things. That po­si­tion went for ar­bi­tra­tion and the com­plainant failed ... The de­part­ment is in­ves­ti­gat­ing what hap­pened.”

How to get rid of a prin­ci­pal

The de­part­ment and Volmink’s team are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing a school gov­ern­ing body mem­ber of En­tuthuk­weni Pri­mary in La­montville for in­cit­ing a teach­ers’ strike to try to get rid of the prin­ci­pal.

The man was al­legedly paid R10 000 by a teacher who wanted to be the school’s new head­mas­ter.

School gov­ern­ing body mem­bers sit in on in­ter­views and rec­om­mend who the de­part­ment should hire.

In a let­ter from En­tuthuk­weni Pri­mary’s school gov­ern­ing body, which City Press has ob­tained, the man is ac­cused of sell­ing the prin­ci­pal’s job and a head of de­part­ment po­si­tion at the same school for R5 000.

“[He] re­ceived R10 000 from an­other teacher whom he had promised to ap­point as prin­ci­pal. But the de­part­ment ap­pointed some­body else. Now the teacher who paid is de­mand­ing her money back be­cause the po­si­tion has been given to some­body else,” says the let­ter a par­ent sent to the de­part­ment.

“My­self and other teach­ers are sad­dened by this. It is dis­turb­ing our chil­dren from their stud­ies. Other teach­ers have been promised heads of de­part­ment po­si­tions and we hear they have paid R5 000 each. As par­ents, we are tired of [him] sell­ing po­si­tions.”

The man de­nied sell­ing posts or be­ing aware of any in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Post-fix­ing par­ties

The de­part­ment is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing job sales at In­sizwakazi Pri­mary in Pine­town. It wrote to school gov­ern­ing body mem­bers in­form­ing them of a probe into al­le­ga­tions that some peo­ple re­ceived bribes to fix posts and had at­tended a party to dis­cuss it.

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A whis­tle-blower on the school gov­ern­ing body wrote to the de­part­ment, say­ing that af­ter they were elected in Fe­bru­ary, some of them went to a for­mer teacher’s house for a braai and a post-fix­ing dis­cus­sion.

“One of the school’s for­mer teach­ers who was present on the day paid ... some money for the prin­ci­pal po­si­tion. On that day, the for­mer teacher took money out of his pocket and gave it to [him],” reads the let­ter.

“The teacher said he is ex­cited that the school gov­ern­ing body has won the elec­tions be­cause it means he will be able to come back to the school.” The man de­nied tak­ing bribes or fix­ing posts. “How can you sell po­si­tions that you don’t have? Po­si­tions be­long to the de­part­ment. Peo­ple who saw me tak­ing bribes must come for­ward to tes­tify. They can also check my bank state­ments. I am free. I have noth­ing to hide,” he said.

He was aware of the de­part­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into him and other school gov­ern­ing body mem­bers.

Mur­der of a maths teacher

Eshowe po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Tienkie van Vu­uren said there was a pos­si­bil­ity that Mkhwanazi’s mur­der was linked to his in­ter­view for the post of prin­ci­pal at En­qobeni Pri­mary.

“He was sit­ting in his ve­hi­cle in the school­yard when he was ap­proached by two un­known sus­pects. They fired two shots at him, pulled him from the car and fired an­other two shots. They then drove away with his ve­hi­cle,” she said. “He was still alive and was taken to the Nd­lan­gubo Clinic for treat­ment, where he died.”

KwaZulu-Natal ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Muzi Mahlambi con­firmed that Mkhwanazi was the fron­trun­ner for the post. “We are work­ing with po­lice to as­cer­tain the mo­tive so that we be­come aware and know what steps to take to pre­vent such oc­cur­rences in fu­ture.”

PHOTO: ZU­L­U­LAND OB­SERVER / STEVEN MAKHANYA

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