no reprieve for ex-teacher

Russell Morena

Russell Morena

A 65-year-old former Gauteng schoolteacher has not received her pension after completing 35 years of service.

Shaheeda de Klerk of Moffatview, southern Johannesburg, who last worked as a teacher at Mid-Ennerdale Primary School, has been waiting for her pension payout since October 2003.

She says she was medically boarded by the Gauteng Department of Education because she was suffering from narcolepsy.

De Klerk says when the department lost her file in 2003 they only paid her a gratuity for five years and not her pension.

A statement in 2003 by a department official Matlakala Manota-Mookang said De Klerk claimed she had retired and was not medically boarded.

The statement said unless De Klerk proved to the department that she had taught for 35 years she could not be paid.

According to papers from the national Treasury, De Klerk was entitled to a gratuity of R61552. Of this amount she only received R30853 in September 2003 since the department deducted the rest for tax.

The department claimed they had not deducted tax since 1997. According to the statement in 2003, seven days after Manota-Mookang reported De Klerk's file as missing, the department confirmed finding the file.

At the time a spokesman for the department confirmed that the department would reconcile De Klerk's records and issue a statement after a few days.

"Since that statement five years ago I am still here - sick, poor and owing doctors," De Klerk says.

She says she wrote to the public protector and national department of education to ask them to intervene . T he same year R10000 was paid into her bank account.

Department director of communications Nanagolo Leopeng says her department did communicate with De Klerk after her file was found.

She says De Klerk had been getting her monthly pension since 2003. But de Klerk said she wanted a lump sum for the years the department said she had not been working for them.

De Klerk says the monthly payment Leopeng is talking about is still the same amount she was getting before her file was found.