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Probe into alleged selling of teacher posts underway

A task team has begun investigating the alleged selling of teacher posts, the basic education department said on Sunday.

“The team has started to do its work and several interviews have been held with unions,” department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement.
“The chairperson will soon announce how the process of submitting information will be done.”

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga set up the team after a number of news reports alleging that officials, including from trade unions, were selling jobs.
The team’s terms of reference were finalised in June.

“All the teacher unions and SGBs [student governing bodies] have committed themselves to co-operating with the investigation,” Mhlanga said on Sunday.

He said the team would investigate if there were gaps in the policy governing procedures for teacher appointments. The duration of the investigation would be decided upon once the extent of the problem had been determined. A report would then be submitted to the minister.

The task team is headed by Professor John Volmink and includes a representative from the justice and public service and administration departments, a legal expert, human resource specialists, and an auditing firm.

Jobs for sale
Previously, the department said if wrongdoing was uncovered, it would be reported to the police.

Earlier this year, reports emerged that SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) members were selling principal and deputy principal positions at schools for upwards of R30 000 each.

According to a City Press report, a Johannesburg teacher claimed a union secretary had asked her for sex in exchange for ensuring she would be given a school principal post.
It reported that two school principals, one from Durban and the other from Mpumalanga, were kidnapped and told they would be killed if they returned to their jobs.

The principals told City Press at the time they had been informed their positions had been earmarked for Sadtu-controlled appointments.
Sadtu has consistently denied involvement in the matter.

The union’s general secretary Mugwena Maluleke previously said the scams were being run by individuals misusing Sadtu’s name.

In May, the National Congress of School Governing Bodies said it believed numerous unions could be involved in the alleged jobs racket. – Sapa

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