Teacher, officials suspended in inflated-marks scandal
Selby Makgotho and Tebogo Tshipi
They pumped up 11 kids' marks so they could pass, and now a teacher and two officials have been suspended.
The Education Department is so dismayed that it is going to press fraud charges against the cheating teacher.
The two officials, who endorsed the alleged irregularity, have been accused of "gross misconduct".
PS Serumule, a teacher at Molaotsi Secondary School in Blood River, allegedly inflated pupils' marks to enable them to proceed from grade 11 to grade 12.
Education officials KF Chokoe and MC Thupana did not stop her.
Education MEC Aaron Motsoaledi is hopping mad.
He hurriedly convened a press conference in Polokwane and announced that the three would be suspended with immediate effect.
"We are going to open fraud cases with the police in the case of Serumule because what she did is absolute fraud. As for the officials, we remain disappointed because they both have more than 30 years' experience.
"We had hoped they would detect the irregularities and not endorse them as they did," said a furious Motsoaledi.
The situation at the school turned ugly this week when pupils went on a rampage, disrupting lessons and demanding to be promoted to grade 12.
Yesterday they marched to the neighbouring Makgofe Secondary School, where they smashed the rear windscreens of teachers' cars.
The parents of the 11 pupils who had failed also attended the media briefing.
So did the whistle-blower principal, Daniel Maputla.
Motsoaledi said: "We need people like him who, when irregularities occur, they act decisively and without fear or favour."
Motsoaledi said the department would also investigate the allegations made by parents that other pupils had marked some scripts.
"We don't accept Serumule's reasoning that she had failed to consult with the schedule when she made the final year-end reports. It is a serious offence ," Motsoaledi said.
"Her actions have clearly prejudiced our parents and pupils.
"The actions also compromised the integrity of the education system in Limpopo," he said, stressing that the pupils would remain in grade 11.