Angie was warned

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s lies snowballed this week in the face of evidence that she knew details of a textbook tender at the centre of Limpopo’s education crisis – more than a year ago.

The Presidency was informed of the problems with the EduSolutions contracts worth hundreds of millions of rand more than six months before Motshekga knew.

City Press has detailed proof that Motshekga knew and could have acted on the EduSolutions deal last year.

Had she acted then the state would have had ample time to find new contractors to deliver the books.

Instead, the contract was only cut at the end of April, leaving the state scrambling to provide material to pupils nearly halfway through the school year.

Her first lie came last week when she blamed former Limpopo education administrator Anis Karodia for the mess and said she had fired him because of it.

But he hit back saying the minister had pressurised him to continue with EduSolutions.

Motshekga also wrote glowingly of him, thanking him for his work in the province.

Lie two came up on Talk Radio 702 this week when she was asked about Solly Tshitangano, the former acting chief financial officer of Limpopo’s education department, who blew the whistle on the EduSolutions deal.

The minister denied even knowing his name. But City Press has correspondence between Tshitangano and Motshekga’s office beginning on June 5 last year. He sent her detailed evidence of the problems with EduSolutions.

On July 5 2011, an official in her office replied to him and said the minister had “requested me to thank you for your letter. The matter is receiving attention”.

Motshekga was also told about Tshitangano and problems with the EduSolutions contract again in January this year in legal opinion for the state, which advised the government to withdraw.

In January 2011 Tshitangano approached the Presidency with his dossier.

Nine months later an official wrote back to him, thanked him “on behalf of the President” and said his information was receiving their “utmost attention”. But Tshitangano heard nothing more.

The department of basic education has announced that former director-general Mary Metcalfe has been appointed to assist with verifying information with regard to the distribution of learning materials in Limpopo. 

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