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Anis Karodia, head of the national intervention team in the Limpopo Education Department, has been fired after hardly three months in the position.
Karodia’s last day at work was on Friday.
Education was among the five provincial departments that were placed under administration by the cabinet in December for poor governance and financial mismanagement.
Last month, The Star reported that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga had resolved to remove Karodia in a bid to quell the hostilities between him and the province’s senior officials.
In a report presented to a joint committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Polokwane in March, Karodia said senior managers in the provincial department were generally hostile towards him.
The report painted the Limpopo Education Department as the worst run in SA.
Karodia’s report also hinted, but without providing evidence, that MEC Dickson Masemola had interfered in the awarding of tenders. As a politician, Masemola is not allowed to influence the awarding of tenders.
“There is a possibility of subtle interference by this MEC (Masemola) in the supply chain (management),” the NCOP heard.
But when Masemola challenged Karodia to substantiate the damning allegations before the NCOP hearing, he failed to do so, but said he stood by his conclusions.
This has reportedly heightened tensions between Karodia and the department’s management, prompting Motshekga to intervene.
A source said the minister had also been unhappy with Karodia’s tone in his report, but The Star could not independently verify this.
Basic Education department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said the department would be in a position to respond on Tuesday.
Karodia confirmed on Monday that he had left the department. “That’s true, I am going home (Mahikeng). I am not taking up a position in the Eastern Cape,” he said.
Karodia was rumoured to be heading to the Eastern Cape to become provincial head of the education department after Modidima Mannya’s resignation last month.
He refused to say why he had been removed.
“I have no comment, the minister must answer that,” said Karodia.
He said he had had plans in place to turn around the troubled provincial department.
“Generally, I think I did well. The finances have stabilised, but I think much more could have been achieved under my watch,” Karodia said.
Although Karodia said he had instilled a change of attitude and general discipline among the staff,
some officials in the department were happy to see him leaving.
“It was such a nightmare to work with that man. No one could tolerate his management style and attitude,” said a staffer, who did not want to be named.
Karodia’s sudden departure comes a few months after Ron Swartz, his predecessor, had resigned unexpectedly in February, two months after he had been appointed.