Alcohol allegedly sold at school

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File photo: David Ritchie

Kimberley - Claims have emerged that the manager at Middlepos Primary School in Calvinia has allegedly been selling alcohol from the school’s hostel.

The DA in the Province on Wednesday expressed concern about the ongoing allegations, with the party’s provincial spokeswoman, Clivé Burger, stating that the accusations pointed to the alleged transgression having gone on for the past couple of years already.

“The Northern Cape Department of Education has received several complaints about this issue, as well as the misuse of school funds – funds intended for renovations at the hostel and school but which have not been used for their intended purposes.

“What is concerning is the fact that although the hostel manager has lost his post, his wife has been appointed as acting hostel manager,” Burger stated.

She explained that there was no logic in appointing the manager’s wife as his replacement.

“The community no longer knows who to complain to. The department also has not yet indicated whether any prosecution will take place although these malpractices have been investigated by a forensic expert. The DA will request the department to make the report public,” Burger pointed out.

She explained that parents who complained were told that nothing would come of the investigations into the misuse of funds as the hostel manager was a member of a teachers’ union.

The Northern Cape Department of Education (NCDOE) said yesterday that it was dealing with the matter.

“Since receiving the complaint, we have placed the employee on precautionary suspension, pending a full investigation to validate the claims,” said the department’s spokesman, Sydney Stander.

“This demonstrates the seriousness with which we view the matter. Schools are centres of excellence which must be alcohol and drug free and we will do everything to uphold this commitment,” Stander added.

He also said that a forensic audit into the matter was already at an advanced stage.

“Although the employee is alleged to be selling alcohol from the premises of the school, it is important to note that at this stage, this is an allegation and not fact.”

A senior official within the department accused the DA of being “desperate” and raising long-standing issues that the department was already dealing with.

“They know that the department is in the process of dealing with all these matters, including the accused hostel manager and a hall at a school in Philipstown, which we are already fixing. The DA is raising these issues as if they are new.”

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