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The Congress of SA Students (Cosas) has called on President Jacob Zuma to urgently evaluate the performance of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in the wake of the Limpopo textbook fiasco.
Cosas said on Tuesday that Motshekga’s department was “in a state of collapse”.
The students also called on the Department of Basic Education to lay criminal charges against the company that was contracted to deliver the textbooks which were found dumped at the side of the road this week and to immediately cancel all government tenders with the company.
Expressing “utter disgust” at the “injustice” done to pupils in Limpopo, Cosas said the textbook debacle flew in the face of the pupils’ constitutional right to an education.
Its acting secretary-general, Tshiamo Tsotetsi, said the company contracted to deliver textbooks had proved beyond reasonable doubt “that they do not harbour even just a bit of the interests of the learners at heart”.
Cosas has demanded a proper recovery plan to address the Limpopo education saga.
Cosas called on students in the senior grades and those in institutions of higher learning across the province to “go all out” in assisting the lower affected grades to cope.
“We view the situation of the province as one that requires a drastic change on how the department conducts its day-to-day business…
“Everybody who receives any form of a salary from the Education Department in the province is expected to be seen sweating in the interest of the full recovery of the learners in Limpopo,” Tsotetsi said.
A survey conducted this week by consumer insights company Pondering Panda found that young South Africans are divided on whether Motshekga should be axed over the textbooks debacle, with 42 percent believing she should be fired, 39 percent saying she deserves a second chance and 19 percent sundecided.
On Tuesday the DA joined the call for the heads of all those responsible for the dumping and burning of books and other educational materials in Limpopo.
DA basic education spokeswoman Annette Lovemore said government officials should not be allowed to escape accountability.
“Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has belatedly called for the arrest of service providers who allegedly dumped and burnt textbooks meant for Limpopo learners.
“But the minister has overlooked the fact that contractors who were burning and shredding textbooks claimed that they were doing so at the instruction of Education Department officials,” Lovemore said.