Ex-MEC named in R200m scandal

SW20050116CLE028:EDU:AWARDS:16JAN2005 - SW20050116 CLE EDUCATION Mpumalanga official release of the 2004 Grade 12 Results by the Department of Education in the Province was held on Saturday at Emnotweni Arena in Nelspruit. In the picture is Mpumalanga MEC for Education Siphosezwe Masango. PHOTO: CLEMENT LEKANYANE
SW20050116CLE028:EDU:AWARDS:16JAN2005 - SW20050116 CLE EDUCATION Mpumalanga official release of the 2004 Grade 12 Results by the Department of Education in the Province was held on Saturday at Emnotweni Arena in Nelspruit. In the picture is Mpumalanga MEC for Education Siphosezwe Masango. PHOTO: CLEMENT LEKANYANE

FORMER Mpumalanga MEC for education and the head of the department have been implicated in a scholar transport scandal involving about R200million.

FORMER Mpumalanga MEC for education and the head of the department have been implicated in a scholar transport scandal involving about R200million.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) yesterday heard how Siphosezwe Masango and Ray Tywakadi incurred losses of millions of rands for the department. Earlier this year the North Gauteng high court ordered the reinstatement of supply chain management director Sipho Thwala, his deputy Willem Kotze, senior administration officer Mandla Chauke and financial management chief director Thomas Maputle after being suspended on charges of corruption relating to the multimillion rand pupil transport.

Yesterday, departmental head Mahlasedi Mhlabane said in response to Scopa questions that the officials were acting under the instruction of Masango and Tywakadi. "They have the supporting documentation to prove their case.

"In March 2007 Tywakadi failed to implement the recommendations of the investigators that the implicated officials be suspended until after reshuffling of the cabinet in 2008 and the new MEC, Mmathulare Coleman, implemented the recommendations," Mhlabane said.

While the court said it did find evidence linking the four to the charges and granted them a permanent stay of prosecution, Mhlabane said the department lost the case due to non-cooperation by the officials.

X