Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has met unions to discuss an alleged racket in the appointment of school jobs, she said on Sunday.
“All the unions have agreed to co-operate with the investigation to root out the alleged practice and take strong action against those found to be involved,” she said in a statement following Friday's meeting.
Reports emerged recently that SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) members were selling principal and deputy principal positions at schools for upwards of R30 000 each.
The unions represented at the meeting were Sadtu, the National Teachers' Union, National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA, the Professional Educators' Union, and the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie.
Motshekga would meet school governing bodies next week to discuss establishing a ministerial task team to investigate the matter.
The Public Service Commission, justice and basic education departments, as well as external education, law, and human resources experts would be involved in creating the task team. Motshekga said the team's members would be announced as soon as its terms of reference were finalised.
“It is envisaged that the task team will be led by a retired judge or an independent education expert.”
On Sunday, City Press reported that a Johannesburg teacher claimed a union secretary had asked her for sex in exchange for ensuring she would be given a school principal post.
Earlier this month, the newspaper reported that two school principals, one from Durban and the other from Mpumalanga, were kidnapped and told they would be killed if they returned to their jobs.
The principals said they were told the positions had been earmarked for Sadtu-controlled appointments. Sadtu has consistently denied involvement in the kickbacks scandal.
In a statement on Sunday, the union's general secretary Mugwena
Maluleke said the scam was run by individuals misusing Sadtu's name.
“The union has no powers to hire people and has never taken a resolution at any level of the organisation sanctioning such an act,” he said.
“We are not in a position to sell what does not belong to us. The union has never received a cent from the proceeds of this scam.”
He said it was “humanly impossible” to micro-manage all its 257 000 members. - Sapa