Lift lid on graft probe — Sadtu

2010-06-21 00:00

THE South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (Sadtu) believes the full report of the forensic investigation, which probed corruption within the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department and implicated senior education officials, should be made public knowledge for all to see and react to.

This was decided by the union in a provincial executive committee meeting following the release of a media statement on the findings by the department.

KZN Education MEC Senzo Mchunu released the findings for the first time on Thursday in a media briefing held in Durban.

In September, Mchunu tasked Ngubane and Associates, a consortium of auditors, to probe the allegations of corruption raised by Sadtu.

Some of the allegations relate to an embezzled R80 million in the uMlazi district, which was meant for pupils’ transport.

Other allegations relate to unscrupulous tendering processes in the procurement department. The union even accused the superintendent-general, Cassius Lubisi, of failing to act on corruption.

The union intensified the pressure to have Lubisi and five other top officials removed from their posts through rolling mass actions.

By protecting corrupt people within the department, the union claimed, these officials were corrupt themselves.

However, in releasing the findings of the investigation, Mchunu said Lubisi has been cleared of all wrongdoing as there is no evidence to suggest that he was guilty of corruption.

In a statement, Sadtu said it hopes to get the full report in due course, adding that it has written to Mchunu asking him to set up a meeting to further examine the release of the forensic report.

Only when it has “engaged with a full report will we be in a position to make a comment”, the statement read.

“However, as the majority stakeholder on the matter, we believe we should have been privy to information contained in the report. But as Sadtu we want to allow processes to unfold without any interference.”

The union said it also feels vindicated in that the MEC has hinted at disciplinary action being on the cards for some of the officials fingered in the allegations.

Ministerial spokesperson Muntu Lukhozi could not say when the report will be made public, adding that the department needs to follow due processes so as not to open itself up to problems in the future.

Last week, Mchunu would not be drawn into naming the officials who have been implicated and found guilty. It is also not clear what violations these officials are guilty of.

Lukhozi, who claimed not to have seen the report herself, said Mchunu might be seen to be shielding certain people, but that is not the case.

“I think you can appreciate the sensitivity of the case.

“The MEC is avoiding a situation where the report is leaked.”

 

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