Sadtu man ‘demands sex for job’

2014-05-18 15:00

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A local teacher is accusing Peace Mokiti, the secretary of the Soweto North branch of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) of demanding sex from her in exchange for a principal’s post.

Another teacher is also accusing him of demanding a “deposit” bribe to help him land the job of deputy principal at a primary school in the township.

Mokiti, the 53-year-old principal of Margaret Gwele Primary School in Dobsonville, Soweto, has been at the centre of several emails and calls that City Press has received from teachers in Soweto. They follow our investigation into a jobs-for-cash racket that is being run by Sadtu members. The stories were first published a month ago.

When Mokiti was approached for a comment on Friday, he initially invited City Press to a one-on-one interview in his school office.

But, a short while later, he called to cancel the interview and threatened to assault the reporter.

“If you ever publish my name, I will beat you up very badly and cause too much trouble for you,” he said. When he was contacted again, he refused to comment and said: “I am consulting my lawyers.”

Job for sex

From her home in western Joburg, the female teacher?– who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation?–?told of her application for a principal’s position at a primary school southwest of the city.

The woman, who was also a Sadtu member but has since resigned, applied for the job in June last year.

“Within an hour he [Mokiti] called to tell me that he knew I had submitted my application. He reprimanded me and asked why I had not informed him first that I would be applying for the position,” she said.

The teacher, who is very active in the community, was endorsed for the job by ANC and SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) local branches.

“But he said that would count for nothing because if he doesn’t want me to get the job, I won’t,” she said.

A few days later, she claims, he called her again and told her that she would only be appointed if she had sex with him.

“He told me that I would never get the job if, you know?...?I will not do that for a position,” she said.

“I told him: ‘No, I am a woman of integrity. I am married and I have a husband and children. What will they think of me?’

“I was not short-listed.” The teacher, who has 20 years’ experience, said the job was given to a junior teacher.

City Press has spoken to two senior teachers in the area, one of whom is a principal at a nearby primary school. They confirmed that Mokiti had asked for sex from the woman in exchange for the job. The teachers asked not to be named because speaking out against senior Sadtu leaders was “suicidal”.

On Friday, the woman told her story to lawyers from the office of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. “I told them everything,” she said.

Not the only one

The woman is not the only one to have had an encounter with Mokiti when applying for a promotion.

Another teacher, who also asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told City Press he paid Mokiti a R750 “deposit” to help him secure a deputy principal’s position.

“The SGB [school governing body] recommended me, but Mokiti said he would help me get the job. I met him at the Southgate Mall and gave him the R750. He had demanded R3?000 for the position.”

But the teacher said he later learnt Mokiti had earmarked someone else for the job.

Mokiti not alone

Mokiti is not the only one from Sadtu’s Soweto North branch who is facing allegations in the jobs-for-cash scam.

Free State University education lecturer Dr Nhlanhla Sebele said that two years ago, a senior member of the branch tried to solicit a bribe from him in exchange for a principal’s job in Soweto.

“I approached him as a friend and asked him how to go about applying because I had applied for a principal’s position more than seven times and never had a response,” Sebele said. “He said I should choose a school and bring an application to him. I did that and on the day I submitted it, he said he needed money.

“I asked him if I could give him R5?000. He said it was too little as the money had to be shared by many other people.”

Sebele, who has a doctorate in school leadership and management from Wits, said he left with his application and his friendship with the branch member became “frosty”.

“Here I was with a doctorate in education and I was asked to pay for a principal’s position,” he said.

The branch member, a principal of a school in Braamfischerville, Soweto, refused to comment.

Seeking Justice

Mokiti lives in a double-storey house with a swimming pool in Witpoortjie, west of Joburg. For some time, teachers around Soweto have been asking how he can afford to arrive at work in a Golf?5?GTI or a BMW?X5 when his salary, local principals say, could not exceed R30?000 a month before tax and deductions.

Meanwhile, the teacher he allegedly demanded sex from has been trying to find justice.

Last year, she lodged a grievance with Johannesburg West district director Dennis Macuacua. At the time, she said she was too embarrassed to mention Mokiti’s sex demand.

“I didn’t want people to think less of me and my family. People always think the worst,” she said.

After her grievance was dismissed, she appealed to Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy, who advised her to lodge a dispute with the Education Labour Relations Council. The matter is still in progress.

“I have also reported the matter to the Public Protector, Corruption Watch and the office of Minister Motshekga,” she said.

City Press has seen copies of these letters.

The ANC and Sanco branches who recommended her for the principal’s job wrote scathing letters to Macuacua.

Sanco branch chairperson Daniel Mabidi wrote: “We wish to state that we do not appreciate the interference of Sadtu, Soweto North branch, in promotional posts. We get the impression that Sadtu has taken the function of recruiting, employing and promoting personnel instead of protecting and representing the interests of their members.”

The ANC’s Patrick Majola branch chairperson Elson

Ndlovu wrote: “We cannot help but think that District 12 (Johannesburg West) is colluding with Sadtu, Soweto North Branch, as they were informed of every detail surrounding our endorsement of the candidate before the ink was dry.”

Macuacua declined to comment when he was contacted.

An angry Mugwena Maluleke, the general secretary of Sadtu, said: “You can’t solicit sex, you can’t solicit money using the name of the organisation. This is tarnishing our image as an organisation.

“We will deal harshly with people who abuse the name of the organisation. That cannot be accepted. The organisation will take harsh action.”

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