KZN education department told to pay up or lose vehicles

2014-01-14 10:16

The KwaZulu-Natal education department’s 708 vehicles have been attached in two separate court applications.

Action had been taken against the department by Sants, a private higher-education institution, about its failure to pay R36 million in bursaries for 1 000 students, the Mercury reported today.

In other legal action, lawyers for a former pupil, who was awarded damages of nearly R4 million last year, also attached the department’s vehicles, the newspaper reported.

Simphiwe Shange was awarded damages by the Durban High Court last year after he was partially blinded in one eye after being struck by a belt wielded by his former deputy school principal in 2003.

According to the Mercury, the department has until the end of this month to pay or the vehicles will be auctioned.

Expressing concern about the Sants’ action, the South African Communist Party (SACP) Moses Mabhida branch appealed to the institution’s management to pursue a different route to settle the matter.

“Attaching the cars that have been allocated to the department is tantamount to sabotaging education in the province by depriving learners and teachers of the much needed tools to do their job,” said SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu.

“The cars are not departmental assets, but they are state assets allocated to the department,” he said, adding that the company should be blacklisted because of its insensitivity.

“The ANC and the alliance have identified education as an apex priority, but this company is working to sabotage what this administration is trying so hard to improve,” he said.

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