Durban - Teachers’ union Sadtu in KwaZulu-Natal is again crying foul over the release of the cash for posts report, claiming its submissions have been ignored by the ministerial task team.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was due to release the report to the public on Friday after allegations that teachers and principals were paying huge sums of money in exchange for posts in KZN, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.
The report, by a team headed by Professor John Volmink, is thought to implicate Sadtu as one of the major role players in the racket.
Sadtu’s KZN secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, said the task team had failed to consider the union’s submissions.
“This is clearly evidenced by the failure of the task team to respond to our representations and therefore denying us the opportunity to make further representations. Our legal team also wrote to the task team reminding them that they have not responded to Sadtu’s representations. Again, it ignored that letter,” she said.
But Motshekga’s spokeswoman, Troy Martens, dismissed the union’s statement and said the minister had already met teachers unions and school governing bodies this week, where their concerns were voiced.
She confirmed the report would be released today.
Sadtu has already blocked the release of the report at least once, postponing its planned release from last month to today after it argued successfully that it had not been given a chance to make representations.
This led to Equal Education approaching the courts to make a Public Access to Information Act application last month.
The department said last month that it had sought legal advice and was advised that implicated parties should be given a space to make rebuttals to the commission.
Between April 1 and 15 the minister allowed for written submissions and inputs to be made to the task team and for those implicated to come forward. The period April 15-29 was set aside for individuals, teacher unions and school governing bodies to make representations and to study the written submissions.
The report was to be submitted to Motshekga on Wednesday with inputs from those who made submissions to be considered, before releasing it on Friday.
DA education spokesman, Gavin Davis, said Motshekga could not allow herself to be bullied by Sadtu on the releasing of the report.
“Instead of dealing with the scourge of corruption in our schools, Sadtu is trying to rubbish the report before it is even released.
“This is shameful behaviour,” he said.
“The release of the report has been hampered by delays and postponements.
“The April 15 release was postponed due to Sadtu’s bully-boy tactics. We sincerely hope that the minister makes good on her commitment to release the report today,” he said.
Davis said it was high time the union was held accountable for the deterioration of schools in disadvantaged communities and called on Sadtu to take action against those implicated.
“We call on Sadtu to deal harshly with those found guilty of corruption through its own disciplinary procedures.
“More importantly, the names of those implicated must be handed to the police and prosecutorial authorities to ensure they face the full force of the law,” Davis said.
Caluza said the union should be allowed to see the report.
“Even the accused in the court of law must state their case and on the balance of probabilities and likelihood, one is found guilty or innocent. If that is not done it raises fundamental question of what was the real intention behind the investigation in the first place,” she said.
The union said the task team’s actions “smell of rotten eggs” and claimed it was only meant to weaken Sadtu.
“Sadtu will never quiver or shake but will remain resolute to challenge the intentions. We wonder if the intentions are not to render Sadtu weak,” she said.