Durban - The anti-graft organisation Corruption Watch said the number of complaints it had received about wrongdoing at schools had grown “dramatically” in recent months.
The body is sitting with more than 200 cases, the majority of which allege maladministration and financial mismanagement on the part of principals and school governing bodies.
An example of the cases reported to Corruption Watch by the public is a claim that a principal used a school cheque to pay for a borehole to be drilled at his home.
It said the same principal allegedly refused to report to the police that the school’s camera and printer “vanished” from his office.
Broken down by province, the highest number of tip-offs on school corruption emanated from Gauteng.
The third-highest number was from KwaZulu-Natal, and the lowest was from the Western Cape.
Last month, The Mercury reported that 46 KZN Education Department employees, including 16 principals and 12 teachers, were charged with misconduct for offences - including sexually assaulting pupils, meting out corporal punishment and fraud - since April.
Corruption Watch said the manipulation of the tender process for gain was the second-most prevalent form of misconduct brought to its attention. Contracts for school supplies and the maintenance, renovation and construction of school buildings were awarded to the friends and families of principals.
Many of the complaints alleged that school governing bodies were either unaware that the procurement process was being abused, or also had their fingers in the pie.
Not only did complaints detail incidences of “jobs for pals” schemes, but also that bribes were paid to secure positions.