'sack education top officials'

TOP senior officials in the KwaZulu-Natal education department could be sacked if a forensic report finds any of them guilty of defrauding the department.

TOP senior officials in the KwaZulu-Natal education department could be sacked if a forensic report finds any of them guilty of defrauding the department.

On Monday, the department began the process of appointing an audit firm to look into the matter. The investigations will begin as soon as the audit company is appointed.

Allegations of corruption in the department surfaced a week ago when members of the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) marched to the provincial education headquarters in Pietermaritzburg to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

They complained about poor service delivery in schools, especially in the Umlazi district.

They also called for all current top officials in the department to be sacked.

Sadtu accused the officials of misusing funds. The union claimed the officials had used R80million allocated for school transport to pay former eThekwini bus service operator Remant to transport pupils in the Umlazi district alone.

Department head Cassius Lubisi is accused of being responsible for the poor performance of schools and of having failed to act on corruption in the department.

Umlazi education district director Mlu Ntombela is also on the list of the people Sadtu wants sacked.

Ntombela is also accused of mismanaging funds that had been allocated for the transportation of pupils to schools in the Umlazi district.

These and other allegations of corruption have led MEC for education Senzo Mchunu to initiate a forensic probe.

"The initial stage of the investigation will involve collection of written submissions from those who have made these allegations and are willing to bring evidence before the auditors," said Mchunu.

"The process of submitting written evidence and where these can be submitted will be announced at a later stage. At the completion of the first phase, the forensic investigation will begin," he said.

Mchunu said they wanted the process to be transparent and fair. He appealed to all the parties to respect the processes.

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