Motshekga appoints judge in D-G hearing

2013-07-24 00:00

BASIC Education Minister Angie Motshekga has appointed retired Judge William van der Merwe to preside over the disciplinary hearing of director-general Bobby Soobrayan.

Soobrayan has been placed on special leave to prepare himself for his defence and the hearing is expected to begin in 10 days’ time.

City Press said Soobrayan has welcomed the disciplinary hearing against him for allegedly erroneously signing off an agreement granting teachers marking Grade 12 scripts a 100% increase and later backtracking, prompting South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) to call for his axing.

Soobrayan told City Press that he welcomed the disciplinary hearing, adding that it would clear the air once and for all.

“There was an error in the agreement, but I signed it and I had no reason to think it was an error. By the way, Sadtu also signed. The issue is: was there an error and, if there was, could I have foreseen it?” Soobrayan said.

Motshekga had referred the matter to the Public Service Commission and consulted senior counsel on the matter.

The senior counsel then advised that Soobrayan should be provided with the opportunity to state his case, as the right to be heard is a fundamental tenet of our legal system, the department’s spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said.

Soobrayan was given 14 days within which to respond to the allegations against him, said Lesufi, and Motshekga decided to allow for these matters to be taken to the disciplinary hearing.

Paddy Padayachee has been appointed as the acting director general.

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