Angie clips Sadtu wings

Depart­ment set to re­duce in­flu­ence of unions to stop teach­ers who pay for jobs from get­ting posts

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

The de­part­ment of ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a jobs-for-cash scam will see sweep­ing changes re­lat­ing to the hir­ing process. The changes are set to in­clude a dra­matic re­duc­tion in the in­flu­ence that unions and school gov­ern­ing bod­ies will be able to wield in ap­point­ment pro­cesses. Two se­nior na­tional ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment of­fi­cials said that the team ap­pointed by Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga to in­ves­ti­gate the racket un­earthed by City Press last year would rec­om­mend that the de­part­ment “zooms in on teacher unions – Sadtu in par­tic­u­lar – and school gov­ern­ing bod­ies [SGBs], and re­de­fine their roles in the ap­point­ment pro­cesses”.

The com­plex scam that has been go­ing on for more than a decade in­volves de­part­ment of­fi­cials and Sadtu mem­bers rig­ging posts in ex­change for cash, live­stock and sex.

The scam is still con­tin­u­ing, how­ever. City Press has learnt that, just last week, the po­si­tions of de­part­ment head and deputy prin­ci­pal were sold at a pri­mary school in Mar­i­an­hill, out­side Dur­ban.

At the mo­ment, union rep­re­sen­ta­tives sit in dur­ing in­ter­views as ob­servers, while gov­ern­ing body mem­bers form part of the in­ter­view pan­els and rec­om­mend ap­point­ments to dis­trict of­fi­cials.

The in­ves­tiga­tive re­port into the de­part­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion is ex­pected to be handed over to Mot­shekga in two weeks.

A se­nior mem­ber of the team prob­ing the scam, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said: “The re­port pro­vides a strong cri­tique of the role of the unions. We will not have many friends in the unions af­ter this. The fact is that some­body has to do it with­out fear or favour. Peo­ple are be­ing killed. The role of the SGBs also has to change.”

A se­nior na­tional ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial, who also spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said: “Pol­icy weak­nesses have to be strength­ened. There are too many peo­ple in­volved in the hir­ing value chain. The SGB rec­om­mends and sends doc­u­ments to dis­trict of­fices.

“We once heard about can­di­dates be­ing in­ter­viewed in peo­ple’s houses at night with oth­ers guard­ing them with guns.”

The of­fi­cial said the de­part­ment was al­ready con­sid­er­ing so­lu­tions, which in­cluded con­duct­ing in­ter­views in pro­vin­cial of­fices with the head of de­part­ment be­ing the only per­son with the power to ap­point teach­ers, prin­ci­pals, cir­cuit man­agers and other lu­cra­tive po­si­tions, in­clud­ing chief ed­u­ca­tion spe­cial­ists.

“There will def­i­nitely be sweep­ing changes in how teach­ers are ap­pointed. Peo­ple feel that they can de­cide who gets what po­si­tion, and that can­not be al­lowed,” he said. “The task team’s rec­om­men­da­tion will be key in turn­ing around the sys­tem.”

Mean­while, the killing of ed­u­ca­tors for their jobs, which are then sold on to oth­ers, will fea­ture promi­nently at a two-day schools-safety sum­mit in Jo­han­nes­burg this week.

Two teach­ers were mur­dered in KwaZulu-Natal in the past three months, al­legedly by those who wanted their prin­ci­pal po­si­tions.

Depart­ment spokesper­son Eli­jah Mh­langa said: “The vi­o­lence in our schools must be con­demned. Whether it is against pupils or teach­ers, it must not be al­lowed to thrive be­cause it af­fects the busi­ness of ed­u­ca­tion.” He said the de­part­ment was con­cerned about the mur­ders. “It seems or­gan­ised, be­cause in sev­eral cases it was re­ported that teach­ers or prin­ci­pals were killed for ac­cept­ing posts in par­tic­u­lar schools.” But while Volmink’s team wraps up and Mot­shekga tries to put out fires, the sale of posts is ap­par­ently con­tin­u­ing un­abated.

The name of the school in Mar­i­an­hill where po­si­tions were sold last week is known to City Press.

A teacher at the school said the se­lec­tion and short-list­ing for the posts was dragged out by the Sadtu branch in a bid to en­sure can­di­dates who had paid for the posts were suc­cess­ful. Provin­cial ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Muzi Mahlambi con­firmed the mat­ter was re­ported to the de­part­ment. “The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee kept chang­ing un­til even­tu­ally those who were meant to pay paid up. On the panel that sat over both the in­ter­view ses­sions, they chose school gov­ern­ing body mem­bers who were un­e­d­u­cated and told them not to score, as they would not be able to com­pre­hend the an­swers given by the can­di­dates,” said the teacher.

Only three panel mem­bers were al­lowed to score the can­di­dates, in­stead of the usual five. On Satur­day, only three can­di­dates ar­rived for the de­part­ment head in­ter­views, al­legedly be­cause other can­di­dates had not been no­ti­fied.

“Long be­fore the posts were ad­ver­tised, it was com­mon knowl­edge who would fill those posts. Word was al­ready out that the peo­ple who would fill the posts were to be from out­side the school, and in­deed they were,” he said.

In Oc­to­ber, City Press met with six teach­ers from the same school who com­plained about mas­sive post-rig­ging. They wrote to the pro­vin­cial de­part­ment ask­ing it to in­ter­vene, but they said noth­ing was done.

Sadtu pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary No­marashiya Caluza did not re­spond to calls from City Press for com­ment on Fri­day and yes­ter­day.

PHOTO: LEON SADIKI

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foot­ball ca­reer as a goal­keeper, de­fender, mid­fielder and striker in

one soc­cer match, which was played be­tween the

Gwede Man­tashe All Stars and the Mat­sila 11 at Tho­hoyan­dou Sta­dium in

Lim­popo, yes­ter­day. Man­tashe con­ceded a goal but also

man­aged to keep his team afloat by mak­ing a cru­cial save.

The tour­na­ment is or­gan­ised by the Gwede Man­tashe Foun­da­tion in as­so­ci­a­tion with the

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