Pretoria – The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) was fingered as the main culprit in a damning report into the alleged selling of teachers' posts released on Thursday.
"We are aware of the stronghold of unions in some provinces," Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga told reporters in Pretoria.
According to her task team’s interim report, government systems have allowed an exploitation of the system, which compromised proper appointments of critical educator posts. The report further says that Sadtu has a "strangle hold" on government, whereby they call the shots.
Motshekga said that, in some provinces, Sadtu appeared to control the government.
She said provinces which had clear lines between themselves and Sadtu were the Free State, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng.
Those which had compromised their control to Sadtu members were the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. She said the depth of this investigation revealed widespread problems.
"Some provinces do have cordial relationships with clear lines of authority between unions and government.
"However, the report indicates that the majority of the provinces are union-run, to an extent that unions appear to control government for selfish reasons which don’t benefit learners or the country," said Motshekga.
She said the government intended to put stringent measures into place to prevent the misuse of processes where unions dominated decisions on teacher and principal appointments.
Chairperson of the task team, John Volmink, said they had investigated 75 cases, and of those, 30 provided grounds for suspicious wrongdoing; while 13 of these case were already strong enough to be passed on to the police.
Arrests were imminent, he said.
His team of 10 core investigators and forensic investigators from Deloitte and Touché investigated 20% of cases in the Eastern Cape, 5% in Gauteng, 24% in KwaZulu-Natal, a staggering 29% in North West, 6% in Mpumalanga and 24% in Limpopo.
This comes after City Press exposed a jobs-for-cash racket run by union officials in the appointment of teachers.
When called for comment, Sadtu deputy general secretary Nkosana Dolopi said they would first study the report before making any statements to the media. Dolopi said they had initiated their own internal investigations after the damning City Press expose.
"We are busy with our own investigation. At the right time, we will reveal the outcome," he said.