EduSolutions ready for probe

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limpopo textbooks

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

(File photo) Photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - EduSolutions will work with any probe into the company's financial dealings with the basic education department, its executive director Moosa Ntimba said on Monday.

“We are committed to co-operating with any investigation by any official authority because we have nothing to hide,” he said.

“As a business, we too have constitutional rights that we will not hesitate to enforce.”

He said an investigation would “vindicate” the company.

“In fact, we have already sent a letter to the Public Protector on June 26... offering her our fullest co-operation to enable her office to conclude her investigation as expeditiously as possible.”

Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Thursday her office would investigate the problems involving textbooks in Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

The Democratic Alliance said on Monday that Mpumalanga education MEC Reginah Mhaule should appoint a forensic investigator to look into the department's financial dealings with EduSolutions.

“Information in the DA’s possession shows a number of irregularities in the relationship between the department and EduSolutions,” DA MPL James Masango said in a statement.

He said several invoices were not detailed, and irregularities in discounts given to the department were not included in original tender documentation.

“Furthermore, the DA has been reliably informed that since our first revelations of irregularities, departmental officials started shredding documentation that may implicate either themselves, or EduSolutions.”

The provincial department was not immediately available for comment.

Ntimba said the DA's call for an investigation was a “political statement” directed at the government.

“It would not be prudent for us get involved in political fights. We run a business, not a political party. We urge the DA to refrain from slandering our company's name to score cheap political points.”

Masango said: “The entire education department/EduSolutions relationship must be investigated by an independent forensic auditor.

“To this end, the DA will write to the MEC and demand that she engage the services of a reputable firm, and make all documentation pertaining to EduSolutions available for audit.”

Ntimba said EduSolutions could not be held responsible for Limpopo's textbook saga. Pupils in the province had been waiting more than seven months for new books.

“It's grossly unfair that our company name gets dragged in the mud for something we did not do. We would like South Africans to know that we are not responsible for non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo,” he said.

“We were ready by November last year to procure and deliver textbooks, but could not proceed because the Limpopo department of education did not have the money to pay for the order.”

He said the national intervention team terminated the company's contract in Limpopo in April.

“We contested the unwarranted cancellation of our contract in Limpopo in the Pretoria High Court 1/8in 3/8 June,” Ntimba said.

“Unfortunately, the judge did not deem our case urgent and dismissed our application. This is not the last word on the matter. We will return to court to fight for our contract, which we won fairly and squarely.” - Sapa


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