Probe textbook debacle - Section 27

2012-10-06 20:01

Johannesburg - Allegations of fraud and corruption surrounding the textbook debacle in Limpopo must be investigated, Section 27 said on Saturday.

"The crisis... occurred in the context of allegations of fraud and corruption," executive director of the rights group, Mark Heywood said.

He said the report of a presidential task team into the non-delivery of the textbooks "confirms these allegations".

"We maintain that it is essential that these allegations are fully investigated and that where necessary criminal proceedings are instituted and stolen monies recovered," said Heywood.

"In particular, the report confirms that there must be an investigation into the Limpopo department of education’s contract with EduSolutions."


Section 27 supported the report's recommendation to hold administrative department heads, both provincially and nationally "accountable" for the non-delivery of textbooks for Grades 1, 2, 3 and 10.

"The president's decision to request that the Public Service Commission investigate the conduct of both the national and provincial departmental heads is fully justified."

Heywood said that his organisation also supported recommendations related to having Cabinet's responsibilities more clearly defined in such contexts.

"[We] call on the President to report back to the country on progress before the end of the 2012 school year."

On Friday, the presidency said that the director general of the department of basic education, Bobby Soobrayan, must be investigated in light of the task team's report.

This was to do with issues including Soobrayan's alleged indecisiveness on receipt of a letter from the textbook publishers in December last year.

No risk management plan

In the letter, the publishers reminded him that the learner, teacher support materials (LTSM) had not been ordered for the Limpopo education department.

He also apparently failed to provide the necessary support when the Limpopo department of education was placed under national administration.

Section27 previously asked Soobrayan to resign over the Limpopo textbook saga.

The presidency also said that the report indicated that reasons for the delays included that the Limpopo education department had outsourced the procurement and distribution of LTSM and had not implemented a risk management plan.

It had also not taken orders timeously nor had it managed the contract with the service provider, EduSolutions, efficiently.

Court orders depts to delivers textbooks

Neither the national or provincial departments had credible data on how many pupils needed to be catered for.

On Thursday, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted a third court order compelling the national and Limpopo education departments to urgently deliver textbooks to the province's schools.

Judge Jody Kollapen granted an order as these departments had failed to deliver all textbooks by specified deadlines and failed to devise a catch-up plan for children and teachers as set out in the court order.

Kollapen ordered the departments to complete all outstanding textbook deliveries for 2012 for Grades 1, 2, 3, and 10 by October 12.

  • hugo.lategan - 2012-10-06 20:10

    The time for BIG change has come! - 2012-10-06 21:49

      If your plan is to enrich yourself, no thought is given to the position you are employed in. The problem with the ANC is exactly this. They are uneducated people in positions that require highly skilled people with years of hands on experience. Instead they are employing their uncles and aunts who have acquired their skills while working as gardeners and domestic workers. And the saddest part is that while they were employed as gardeners and domestic workers they were stealing from their employers, the only difference now is the amounts of money and resources they are stealing is just must larger and its affecting the well being of the whole country and all the citizens.

      rude.awakning - 2012-10-07 11:15, really? You just stop short of nominating Jack Parow for president..........of Oranje! Constructive criticism always goes down well!!!! Yours were far from it and smacked of racial insults! You have no idea what went down in the first 20yrs of Nats ruling SA! It makes the Anc, Da, Ifp,Mf and Ff look like well seasoned politicians!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-10-07 19:44

      @Voiceinthedesert - The only schools affected by the non-delivery were in districts where the provincial authorities decided to outsource distribution & delivery to Edu-Solutions. Edu-solutions in turn claim that their contract became null and void in Nov 2010 when Limpopo went into administration. The MEC for edu blames the intervention team. The administration team blames the MEC and the Minister. The ANC blames a lowly clerk who threw the books away because he was in a hurry to get somewhere else. The COURTS have found the minister to blame and so far handed down three court orders, all of which have been ignored. And so it will go until this issue eventually gets buried and fizzles out. Because the bottom line is that this is "not a crisis" and quite normal. Welcome to the new reality which has nothing to do with right or wrong, laws, processes, procedures, is whatever suits the ANC best.

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-10-06 20:22

    The utter shame! As angry as this makes me, I didn't vote this party into power. I think, if I had, I'd be way angrier than I already am. Embarrassed too.

  • dan.gleebits.33 - 2012-10-06 20:43

    Why should the SA public regard anything the presidency says on corruption as having any moral validity whatsoever? Take your choice of the debacles from the Arms Deal to Nkandla - let's start with a closer and open look at those if you want to start clearing the air. The old cliche applies - "The fish rots from the head down" and, boy, does this one stink. These scandals have gone beyond criminal harm to our people - there are international implications fundamentally damaging to SA. Take a listen to the BBC World Service here on the ANC Limpopo Disaster area:

  • UNITY - 2012-10-06 20:59

    The president temporarily has no backbone till Mangaung... It also comes as no surprise the fraud and corruption is the new face of government.. Lawlessness, greed and struggle for power..while the people are the puppets..used only for votes!!!

      colin.dovey - 2012-10-06 21:10

      "temporarily has no backbone until Mangaung?" - let's be blunt, this inept coterie of thieves and liars has no backbone...period.

  • gregory.f.dean - 2012-10-06 21:09

    Will it ever stop? Those at the top MUST be held accountable. This should be a given

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-06 21:21

      @Gregory.f.dean:accountability? Ha! What are you talking about? They cannot even spell that word. spending, stealing, and creative accounting, please read corruption.

  • vera.platt - 2012-10-06 21:44

    Ha ha ha. There is that word again - probe

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-10-06 21:50

      @ Vera - yeah, at the tax payer's expense, no less.

      amelia.basson - 2012-10-06 22:38

      Yip! The aliens are probing all the time!

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-10-06 21:56

    Robin Williams once delivered this joke about the difference between American and British police. An American policeman is always armed and will simply shoot a criminal if he sees a crime being commited. The British police, on the other hand, do not carry weapons. So they will shout out to a criminal 'STOP! And if you don't, then I will shout STOP again'. This is so true of the multiple court orders being served on our Minister of Basic Education and the various departments under her watch. They are treating the courts with such disdain, which is a crime in itself. I cannot understand how Angie sleeps at night, or what she sees when she looks into a mirror. She is a disgrace to the education department, the entire schooling system and to parents in general. She is such an embarrassment and yet she still defends herself with such blatant arrogance. You should hang your head in shame Angie. Or better still, just hang yourself.

  • charmaine.paterson1 - 2012-10-07 07:12

    By 12 October there will be 5 weeks of school before the final exams. Isn't it pretty pointless delivering the books now? I suppose they have been paid for though and can hopefully be used next year.

  • Francois Joubert - 2012-10-07 07:29

    Dejavu allll ova again! Same story next year! Sickening!

  • rude.awakning - 2012-10-07 07:38

    grades 1/2/3/10 must have received their 2012 textbooks by October 2012! For goodness sake learners are handing back their 2012 textbooks as almost all revision work is done before final exams for this year! Surely it should be a case of these learners receiving 2013 textbooks by this date! Fire the whole lot of these incompetent asses! The SEM's for the affected schools should have prioritised and fastracked the textbook issues by Feb 2012 before the 2012 curriculam went into full swing! Incompetence seems to be a prerequisite for a job in the Education Dept!

  • Tim Elliott - 2012-10-07 08:18

    How does anyone in DBE hold onto their jobs given failure of this magnitude?Reality is that this whole shocking saga simply shows how many,many black people tolerate failure & sadly,accept mediocrity as the norm.

  • alpheus.mehlape - 2012-10-07 13:26

    Actually, what was the need for commission of inquiry to probe this debacle. At de moment everyone is walking free while our learners are busy on the road to repeat the very same classes nxt year. Where is de right to education, in contrary to that no one i mean the heads of state would allow any of their kids to encounter this kind of predicament. Not in their life time, however for the poor there is no crisis.

  • alpheus.mehlape - 2012-10-07 13:28

    Actually, what was the need for commission of inquiry to probe this debacle. At de moment everyone is walking free while our learners are busy on the road to repeat the very same classes nxt year. Where is de right to education, in contrary to that no one i mean the heads of state would allow any of their kids to encounter this kind of predicament. Not in their life time, however for the poor there is no crisis.

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