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Motshekga in the firing line over books

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IOL pic june27 angie motshekga

Independent Newspapers

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File Photo: Sizwe Ndingane

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga could face the axe over the bungled textbook delivery to Limpopo schools, according to media reports on Sunday.

At its ANC policy conference last week, the ANC agreed action should be taken on under-performing civil servants, the Sunday Independent reported.

“If one of us is under-performing as a public servant, regardless of what level we are at, then we need to act,” ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa told the paper.

Delegates had reportedly called for Motshekga's head.

“They went for the minister viciously. They savaged her. They said we must not have this thing happening,” Phosa said.

They agreed “no one can be protected any longer by the government or by their position”, Phosa was quoted as saying.

He could not say whether Motshekga would be fired.

Both Motshekga and the presidency were informed of problems with the tender for delivering textbooks to Limpopo, which was won by EduSolutions, City Press reported.

In January last year, Solly Tshitangano, former acting chief financial officer for the Limpopo education department, approached the presidency with his concern over the tender. An official responded months later saying his information was receiving their attention.

In June last year, Tshitangano sent Motshekga's office detailed evidence of the problems with EduSolutions. The presidency confirmed to City Press it had received Tshitangano's dossier.

It referred the matter to Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale's office for investigation in September last year.

EduSolutions insisted to the paper its contract for textbook delivery was valid. It was pursuing litigation against the government for money owed to it following the cancelled contract, City Press reported.

However, according to an opinion obtained by the State from advocate Pat Ellis in January, the contract was “neither fair, equitable, transparent, competitive nor cost effective”.

The contract was open to constitutional challenge as it did not comply with public finance management laws.

In an interview on Talk Radio 702 this week Motshekga denied knowing Tshitangano. Rapport newspaper on Sunday however cited an e-mail, dated July 5, 2011, in which Motshekga's office thanks him for his evidence and says the matter is “receiving attention”. - Sapa


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