THE Limpopo education department has rejected calls for MEC Dickson Masemola to quit after a report on the late delivery of textbooks in the province.
"Nowhere in this report is any determination or insinuation made on the ability of MEC for education Dickson Masemola, to lead this department," Masemola's spokesman, Pat Kgomo, said in a statement.
The department was "appalled at and disappointed" by a statement by Mark Heywood of NGO Section27, which had obtained a court order to force the department to deliver the textbooks.
Heywood said at a press conference on Tuesday: "It is very clear from this and other reports that the Limpopo education [department] is rotten, riven with corruption, and incapable of meeting its constitutional obligation to learners."
He also called for Masemola to be fired. This call was echoed by the Democratic Alliance and Cosatu.
DA spokeswoman Desiree van der Walt said: "The Metcalfe Report released [on Monday] on the textbooks debacle in Limpopo now places it beyond any doubt that education MEC Masemola is not fit for the office he holds."
Section27 had called the press conference to release the findings of an investigation into the textbook delivery situation by former education director-general Mary Metcalfe.
She had been asked by Section27 and the department of basic education to be the independent authority who would verify the state of textbook delivery to schools serving Grades 1 to 3 and Grade 10 pupils in the province at June 27 in compliance with a court order.
The court order was obtained by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies acting on behalf of Section27, Hanyani Thomo Secondary School, and Tondani Lydia Masiphephethu for the delivery of the books and a catch-up plan for Grade 10s.
According to Metcalfe's report the department had not delivered 98% of books by the deadline of June 27 as it had claimed.
"Metcalfe's report shows that on June 27 only 15% of the books had been delivered to schools. By July 3 this had increased to 48%," Heywood said.
Besides Metcalfe's report, two other investigations are under way.
A presidential task team and the Limpopo government are conducting their own investigations into the matter, which had been accompanied by reports of textbook dumping and irregular ordering and tender processes. - Sapa