‘Schools D-G must be fired’

2013-01-02 00:00

TEACHERS’ union Sadtu has vowed to force the director-general of Basic Education, Bobby Soobrayan, out of his post this year.

In a New Year statement, the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union made serious accusations against Soobrayan, alleging corruption, unprofessional conduct and maladministration.

On inquiry, minister Angie Motshekga’s spokesperson said she had taken note of Sadtu’s concerns, but preferred to discuss them behind closed doors with the union, rather than in the media.

Sadtu promised labour action if Soobrayan was not fired.

The union noted that a presidential task team under Professor Mary Metcalfe that was investigating the Limpopo textbook crisis had asked the public service commission to probe aspects of Soobrayan’s conduct.

These were his alleged failure to act when problems with textbook delivery were first noted in November 2011, and the allegation that he did not offer needed support to the intervention team that took over the Limpopo Education Department in 2011.

Sadtu said Motshekga had refused to activate an investigation into Soobrayan.

The union has repeatedly called for a forensic audit into Lebone Group Holdings, a company of which Salama Hendricks was a founder member. Her daughter was once engaged to Soobrayan, the union alleged.

Lebone won a R243 million tender to print, pack and deliver workbooks to the Limpopo Education Department.

The courts had to intervene in this process because it was so poorly executed.

Sadtu said Soobrayan was implicated in a conflict of interest and corruption. It also alleged that Lebone was awarded another tender to supply textbooks to Limpopo this year.

Another of Sadtu’s allegations concerned the payment of matric markers.

According to the union, on April 7, 2011, Soobrayan, on behalf of the department, signed an agreement with education unions for a 100% pay increase for markers.

After Soobrayan later questioned this increase, it was confirmed in a written agreement by the education bargaining council on December 18, 2011.

On May 11, 2012, the department declared a dispute over the issue, because Soobrayan had reportedly signed the agreement in error without reading it, and because he in any event did not have the required mandate from the ministers of Finance and Basic Education to undertake to pay the increase.

The hearings on the issue have dragged on since then, with the department being granted numerous postponements.

Sadtu has insisted that Soobrayan, whom it also accuses of misappriopriation of departmental money for personal use, must resign, because it regards him as dishonest and unfit for his post. It has vowed to take labour action if that does not happen.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.