Johannesburg - The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) on Sunday said it was unaware of any job promotion racketeering conducted by its officials.

The City Press had reported that teachers were paying some Sadtu officials at least R30 000 in return for principal and deputy principal positions in schools.

“We are not aware of such,” said Sadtu spokeswoman Nomusa Cembi.

“We can never sanction such a thing. It's unethical and professional. If there are perhaps Sadtu officials doing this, they are doing it in their personal capacity,” she said.

The paper reported that the cash-for-jobs practice was tracked in the KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North West provinces.

Explaining the alleged process, the City Press said teachers would identify the positions they wanted, and paid a Sadtu official who would influence the school governing body (SGB) and other officials.

If the post was filled, the SGB was used to force the incumbent out of the position. The SGB then recommended the teacher who paid for the job.

The selection panel, which contained paid-off department officials, then ratified the recommendation, according to the newspaper.

Acting director of the national basic education department, Panyaza Lesufi, told Sapa that he stood by his comment published in the City Press.

“Anyone with evidence that the jobs are being sold, or that Sadtu was influencing recruitment processes should approach the department,” Lesufi was quoted as saying.

“It is illegal and undesirable. We won't tolerate it.”

He said the department was proposing to exclusively handle the recruitment of principals and their deputies instead of school governing bodies.

“It will go a long way towards preventing such things,” he told the paper.

Sapa