Boniwe Rehabilitation Centre hosted a matric boot camp which was non-compliant to Covid-19 regulations. Photo: KZN Education Department.
Boniwe Rehabilitation Centre hosted a matric boot camp which was non-compliant to Covid-19 regulations. Photo: KZN Education Department.

KZN’s Harry Gwala education district director faces disciplinary for overcrowded matric boot camp

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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The Harry Gwala education district director and two other top officials are facing a disciplinary hearing after they had flouting procurement processes which resulted in dozens of matric pupils being crammed into a dilapidated building at a boot camp in Umzinto, last year.

On Tuesday, Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu released the investigation report where it was recommended that the district director, the acting CES in question and the assistant director SCM would all be subjected to a disciplinary process.

Mshengu said: ”Based on these findings, the report recommended that disciplinary processes be preferred against the District Director, the Acting CES in question and the Assistant Director SCM. I am satisfied that the report presents a case to be answered by the implicated officials and have since referred the report to the HoD for immediate implementation.”

Last year, Grade 12’s from the Harry Gwala district were sent to boot camps in an attempt to help them prepare for the National Senior Certificate examinations. Disturbing images of pupils cramped in a tent with no masks emerged from that camp and went viral. Some of the photos showed toilets overflowing with human waste also went viral.

Upon hearing about this, the KwaZulu Natal education department closed down the camp and pupils were moved to another suitable venue.

An investigation on the circumstances that led to the complete violation of Covid19 regulations and the non-negotiables was conducted.

According to the findings, the district director had gone against the department’s supply chain management process with the appointment of Boniwe Rehabilitation Centre to host the Spring Camp and Li Africa PTY LTD and Zinolwazi PTY LTD to transport pupils.

The investigation found that while there was a suitable venue that could have been used the district used the rehabilitation centre which was not tax compliant and had evidence of a tax clearance certificate.

Despite the disapproval from the Matric Intervention Programme team based on its assessment of the centre, the district director acted beyond her duty by approving the R1 260 000 quotation from the centre.

“That the District Director invited service providers to quote and suggested the amounts per each learner and this amounts to cover the quote. That the service providers in question were issued with multiple orders for the same service within the same period in order to keep the amount below the threshold of R500 000 and therefore avoiding to go on the tender as required.

“Therefore, splitting of quotations was done intentionally,” the findings read.

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