'We won't act hastily against Education Minister over textbooks' - Zuma
"We need to act fairly"
The government will not take hasty action against Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga over the Limpopo textbook crisis, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.
Speaking on 567 CapeTalk radio, he said the government had taken action to resolve the non-delivery of textbooks, but would not dismiss anyone until a task team investigation was completed.
“Wherever there has been anything, we have taken action. An investigation does not take place overnight.... We need to act fairly,” he said.
“You don’t know exactly who is responsible for that. You can’t say the minister sitting in her office in Pretoria is responsible.
“Even if the buck stops at her, she has to find out who exactly is responsible for that [crisis].... The president must weigh those facts [and then decide] was it her or not her?”
Zuma said he could not simply jump at every damning report in the media.
“I’m sure if there was a report and I fired people every day... [people would say] I don’t follow processes of the law.”
He said the Cabinet had taken action in Limpopo long before the textbook debacle, by putting the education department under administration.
This took place last year after the Limpopo government used up its overdraft of R7 million and tried to increase it to R1.7 billion to pay salaries in November.
Zuma told the radio station that education continued to be the government’s top priority, and received the largest budget.
“I don’t think it’s the correct statement to say that we are not making it a priority... We are also not dealing with the problem of today, we are solving the problem [of apartheid] that has affected us.”