Private schools to be probed for alleged subsidy abuse

The names of 14 independent schools have been handed to police as part of a probe into possible abuse of government subsidies. (David Harrison, M&G)

The names of 14 independent schools have been handed to police as part of a probe into possible abuse of government subsidies. (David Harrison, M&G)

"In total, there are 14 schools that have been referred to the South African Police Service as a result of the Fivaz forensic audit that started in 2011," said Gauteng education spokesperson Charles Phahlane on Tuesday.

An earlier news report said police were probing as many as 22 schools. Phahlane said the department had conducted a "rapid assessment" of the 205 independent schools that received a subsidy from the province in October 2011.

Assessors found that 112 schools were compliant and had the right financial management systems in place, and these received their subsidies in December 2011.

Fifty-seven schools were found to have minor issues that could be fixed. These were given the opportunity to present improvement plans and were subsequently paid their subsidies in December 2011.

Thirty-six schools were then referred to Marumofase Fivaz Security Solutions, a company associated with former national police commissioner George Fivaz, for a full forensic audit.

Of the 36, Fivaz reported in April last year that five schools had sufficient financial management and controls in place, and these subsequently received their subsidies in that month, Phahlane said.

Investigation underway
Seven schools were found to have serious instances of financial mismanagement. Two were deregistered.

In total, nine schools were referred to police for further investigation.

Of the remaining 22 schools, Fivaz reported in April last year that he still needed to do further forensic investigation.

"Fivaz has now completed this forensic investigation and a further five schools were referred to the SAPS," said Phahlane.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko confirmed an investigation was underway, but did not give the number of schools implicated. – Sapa

 

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