Six ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials im­pli­cated in bribery

Saturday Star - - METRO - SHAIN GERMANER

SIX Gaut­eng De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (GDE) of­fi­cials have been im­pli­cated in a cash-for-posts scam, with one al­ready ar­rested and charged with bribery.

Yes­ter­day, the GDE re­vealed that the six of­fi­cials had been iden­ti­fied as a teacher, a prin­ci­pal, two gen­eral as­sis­tants (GA) at Kwa-bhek­i­langa Sec­ondary School in Alexan­dra, and two hu­man re­sources per­son­nel at the Jo­han­nes­burg East District of­fices.

“One of the of­fi­cials (the ed­u­ca­tor) was on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 10, 2018 ar­rested, and ap­peared in the Jo­han­nes­burg Spe­cialised Com­mer­cial Crime Court (on Thurs­day) for al­leged bribery of an in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer,” said GDE spokesper­son Steve Mabona.

Mabona said it was al­leged that the im­pli­cated of­fi­cials fa­cil­i­tated per­ma­nent ap­point­ments of the two gen­eral as­sis­tants and sub­se­quently de­manded that they de­posit sub­stan­tial amounts into the ed­u­ca­tor’s bank ac­count.

The probe be­gan af­ter an anony­mous tip-off, and ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion at the GDE’S dis­posal, the in­ter­views were held in June 2018.

“How­ever, the GAS re­ceived back­dated salary pay­ments of over R13 000 each as, ac­cord­ing to their ap­point­ment let­ters, they were ap­pointed with ef­fect from April 1, 2018,” said Mabona.

The six were yes­ter­day served with no­tices for in­ten­tion to pre­cau­tion­ary sus­pend them.

“We strongly con­demn any crim­i­nal acts, which seeks to un­der­mine the dig­nity of the de­part­ment. This should serve as a de­ter­rent, all of­fi­cials who might be in­volved in cor­rup­tion will face the full might of the law,” said Gaut­eng Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi.

“It is im­por­tant not­ing that, par­al­lel to the de­part­men­tal ac­tion, these cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions will also be brought to the at­ten­tion of the South African Po­lice Ser­vices for fur­ther crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” said Mabona.

In 2014, City Press re­vealed that the sell­ing of teacher po­si­tions had be­come a wide­spread prob­lem within the na­tional ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment.

The ex­pose re­vealed that prin­ci­pals’ po­si­tions were be­ing sold for up­wards of R30 000 while teach­ers’ posts were also be­ing sold for live­stock and cash.

The re­port re­sulted in an in-depth probe into the al­le­ga­tions that re­vealed the South African Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union was re­spon­si­ble, and seem­ingly con­trol­ling at least six pro­vin­cial ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments.

The union de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

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