Teachers, SGB profit off school

2013-11-07 00:00

NEWLY elected members of a school governing body (SGB) were shocked to find evidence of teachers doing business with the school and former members of the body receiving cheques for money allegedly loaned to the school.

The new SGB members of Sivananda Celekuphiwa combined school in Estcourt have since written to the Education Department, calling for immediate action to be taken.

Recently appointed SGB members said they discovered the alleged wrongdoing when they took office as office bearers in September this year.

SGB treasurer Thandanani Sithebe said they demanded to see the school’s financial books when they were elected.

He said they were shocked by what they discovered. “They are spending school money as they see fit. It’s unbelievable that some people could behave in such a manner. They are not even trying to cover up their wrongdoing.”

He said they discovered that in June last year, the school made a cheque of R50 000 to a local company to purchase 50 boxes of photocopying paper. A box of similar paper from a local store cost R182 a box, for a total of just over R9 000.

A separate invoice for similar photocopying paper from another Estcourt dealer shows the school was charged R15 500 for 52 boxes.

Sithebe said they learned that teachers were also doing business with the school.

A teacher is said to have claimed R4 000 for drafting a school policy. “The department already has school guidelines. All we had to do was sit down and use those guidelines to come up with a school policy. It would not cost even R5,” said an outraged parent.

In another instance, the school signed a cheque to a former SGB member who had apparently loaned the school R20 000. A month earlier she apparently loaned the school R8 000. There are no records of the loans being made, but only of the cheques repaying the amounts.

In August, the company that sold the school paper was paid R30 000, said to have been the money it loaned the school for a handover ceremony this year. This is despite bank records showing the school had R200 000 in its account at the time.

The chairperson of the governing body, V.D. Manyoni, said the picture painted by Sithebe was accurate, but she could not elaborate further.

School principal Lucky Zwane denied any financial impropriety, but directed all questions to the department.

Education chief circuit manager Frisco Mbongwa said they would investigate the allegations.

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said they would also investigate the allegations.

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