Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will launch a probe into allegations of job promotion racketeering by Sadtu members, her office said on Friday.
Motshekga said in a statement she regarded the allegations as very serious.
“The department will not hesitate to institute criminal charges against those found to be part of, what I believe are, attempts to undermine the hard work that the department is doing in ensuring the quality of teaching,” she said.
This was after reports that SA Democratic Teachers Union members were selling principal and deputy principal positions at schools for upwards of R30,000 each.
Motshekga's office would announce the names of the investigators, and the probe's terms of reference, as early as next week.
“From the initial reports it seems there are syndicates operating in the system that include school governing body members, officials from the districts, and members of Sadtu, as well as principals themselves,” spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said.
Those found to be involved in the scam could face disciplinary action or criminal charges.
Motshekga was also concerned about problems at Moshesh Senior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape.
According to advocacy group Equal Education, there have been persistent problems at the school due to teacher shortages and absenteeism.
This was despite a November, 2013, Bisho High Court order prescribing proper curriculum planning and provision of teachers, which Equal Education said the district and provincial departments had failed to honour.
Motshekga said it was unacceptable that pupils at the school still faced such problems, and an urgent solution needed to be found.
“The minister has since instructed the MEC to immediately resolve the issues plaguing the school, and directed the acting director general Mr Panyaza Lesufi to follow up on the matter,” Mhlanga said. - Sapa