Defence of textbook debacle 'ludicrous'
ANOTHER union has attacked the Department of Basic Education, urging it to stop "wasting public resources with statements" around the Limpopo textbook debacle.
The National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) president Ezra Ramasehla said yesterday: "The statements, adverts, denials, court cases, verification reports, commissions, attempts at exoneration and general obfuscation surrounding the textbook crisis have reached ludicrous levels."
Ramasehla was reacting to adverts placed in newspapers over legal action taken against the department by rights organisation Section27.
The adverts intended to "set the record straight" over a Pretoria High Court judgment.
Ramasehla said: "Those officials or political leaders found to be responsible for the crisis should be called to account and the appropriate sanctions, demotions and dismissals, where appropriate, should be effected speedily."
Last week, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) gave the department seven days to "operationalise the president's instruction".
The call came after the presidential task team report on the Limpopo textbook saga recommended that the Public Service Commission investigate, among others, director-general of the Department of Basic Education Bobby Soobrayan.
The union also called on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to "institute a forensic audit" of Lebone Group Holdings, a sister company of the winning bidder for the distribution of workbooks.
Sadtu claims the bidder, Lebone Litho Printers, is linked to the mother-in-law of Soobrayan's former fiancé.
It alleged that and Soobrayan "was implicated in potential conflict of interest and corruption regarding the tender".
Basic Education spokesman Panyaza Lesufi would not respond to Naptosa's comments but he instead referred Sowetan to a statement issued by the department last week responding to the allegations made by Sadtu.
In the statement Lesufi said: "The matter is now with the Public Service Commission and we are hopeful that within the 60 days given to the PSC, the matter will be finalised."
Lesufi added then: "We want to alert the public that the Department of Basic Education does not have any formal contract with a company called EduSolutions and any links to the Basic Education DG to this company is unfortunate and misleading." - firstname.lastname@example.org