(File image) Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Photo: Thobile Mathonsi

Johannesburg - The Limpopo Basic Education Department and a contractor have been charged over the dumping and destruction of textbooks in the province, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.

Desiree van der Walt, the DA’s spokesperson on education in Limpopo, said the party laid the charges at the Tzaneen police station.

One charge was laid against the provincial education department for vandalism and destruction of books in Seshego. Another was laid against a service provider who allegedly dumped textbooks in Giyani.

Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto confirmed charges were laid and said the matter would be transferred to police in Giyani.

Van der Walt said: “We have been reliably informed that up to now Minister Angie Motshekga merely made a call for the arrest of people who dumped textbooks near a river in Giyani, but no actual charge has been laid yet.”

Textbooks were found dumped and destroyed while thousands of schools in the province had gone without books for seven months.

A contractor told the DA the department had hired her to dispose of the books. Van der Walt said the department first denied this, then claimed it was a routine annual procedure.

“The department is as guilty as the service provider in Giyani and must be equally charged,” Van der Walt said.

“We also want to know who the contractor is, how much they were paid and the amount of public resources spent annually to fund the education department's book 'disposal policy’.” - Sapa