Bodies pleased unions aren’t part of teachers’ jobs-for-cash task team

2014-05-20 17:25

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The Federation of Governing Bodies of SA (Fedsas) has welcomed Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s decision to appoint a task team to probe the jobs-for-cash scandal.

On Sunday, Motshekga announced that she would set up a ministerial task team to investigate the selling of posts in the education sector.

This follows a series of stories in City Press detailing how officials of the SA Democratic Teacher’s Union, members of school governing bodies (SGBs) and employees of the department colluded and sold jobs in exchange for cash and sex.

The proposed team will be an independent body and will be constituted by the Public Service Commission, the departments of justice and basic education, external independent education experts, human resources and legal experts, the department announced on Sunday.

The names of the members of the team and the terms of reference will be announced in due course, the department said.

Following a meeting with the department today, Fedsas deputy president, Jaco Deacon, said: “They informed us about the proposed investigation. There is a need to finalise it as quickly as possible.”

He said he was pleased that unions would not be part of the team. “They must investigate not only the selling of principal positions, but all appointments in the department. This is threatening the credibility of the whole system, it’s serious. We will give our full cooperation.”

Deacon said that over the years, Fedsas had complained about how appointments were made in the department. “There are a lot of corrupt officials in the system,” he added.

Mugwena Maluleke, general secretary of Sadtu, also welcomed the probe.

All unions in the sector met Motshekga on Friday. Maluleke said he was happy that the team would be chaired by an independent person. “We are happy that the chairman will be an independent person of repute who will help us root out the corruption.”

Ideally, he said the terms of reference should include the selling of positions in schools, circuit and district offices and provincial and national departments of education; patronage; how SGBs were influenced by corrupt unions and departmental officials; and the soliciting of sex.

He said the team should protect whistle-blowers to encourage them to come forward.

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