Newsletter 48 Jobs for Cash
THE AWAITED REPORT IS DUE TO BE MADE PUBLIC TODAY ACCORDING TO THE LAST STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER of DBE - THE WORK OF THE MTT & ITS CHAIR PROF VOLMINK IS DONE...ACTIONS HAVE BEEN PROMISED BY THE MINISTER...SO WHAT IS NEXT?
Sipho Masondo reported in November 2015 for the City Press with headlines “Jobs-for-cash scam: Money, murder and maths”. Extracts of that report is highlighted;
Thokozani Mkhwanazi was gunned down at his high school on November 11 after he became the frontrunner for the position of headmaster at a nearby primary school. The popular maths and science teacher, and deputy principal of Nomyaca Secondary School in Eshowe, was shot by two hit men in the school parking lot in front of his pupils and colleagues.
Mkhwanazi, who was buried last weekend, is the latest victim of the jobs-for-cash scam exposed by City Press last year. The scam has become increasingly deadly, with two teachers killed since August in hits ordered by others who want their jobs.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga appointed a team headed by Professor John Volmink to investigate the scam.
In the wake of Mkhwanazi’s murder, Volmink’s investigators and KwaZulu-Natal education officials are investigating the sales of several posts. These include a teaching job allegedly sold by a senior leader of teachers’ union Sadtu for R17 000.
Backdating and bribes
- Jabulani Zwane – principal of Chatsworth’s Dumisani Makhaye Secondary and local Sadtu branch secretary – is being investigated for allegedly forging and backdating documents to employ a teacher from whom he later allegedly demanded a R17 000 bribe.
- Teacher Sifiso Zondi complained to officials that Zwane had his salary backdated by two months.
- After Zondi was paid, Zwane demanded “some of” the money, saying it “had to go to some of the people who arranged the position” for him.
- A senior official at the province’s education head office in Pietermaritzburg, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We are investigating a case of fraud and bribery. It is clear that the state was used to pay for the position.”
- In his complaint statement to the department, obtained by City Press, Zondi said he had taught at Dumisani Makhaye in 2009. After he was paid, Zwane told him at a meeting in Durban to hand over a chunk of the money.
- “My first withdrawal from that payment was R10 000, but I gave him R9 000 on that day. After a few days, we met again and I gave him R8 000,” he said in the statement. Zondi confirmed the contents of his statement to City Press.
- Zwane confirmed that Zondi taught at his school, but denied backdating his contract or taking a bribe. He said: “I never took anything from him. I do not do those things.”
- However, the department is investigating Zwane in connection with another case in which he allegedly sneaked in an application for a teacher who had not applied for a head of department position at Savannah Park Primary in Chatsworth. Documents City Press has seen reveal that the teacher who got the job never applied for it.
- Zwane denied this, saying: “I was just the resource person. I don’t do such things. That position went for arbitration and the complainant failed ... The department is investigating what happened.”
How to get rid of a principal
- The department and Volmink’s team are also investigating a school governing body member of Entuthukweni Primary in Lamontville for inciting a teachers’ strike to try to get rid of the principal.
- The man was allegedly paid R10 000 by a teacher who wanted to be the school’s new headmaster.
- School governing body members sit in on interviews and recommend who the department should hire.
- In a letter from Entuthukweni Primary’s school governing body, which City Press has obtained, the man is accused of selling the principal’s job and a head of department position at the same school for R5 000.
- “[He] received R10 000 from another teacher whom he had promised to appoint as principal. But the department appointed somebody else. Now the teacher who paid is demanding her money back because the position has been given to somebody else,” says the letter a parent sent to the department.
- “Myself and other teachers are saddened by this. It is disturbing our children from their studies. Other teachers have been promised heads of department positions and we hear they have paid R5 000 each. As parents, we are tired of [him] selling positions.”
- The man denied selling posts or being aware of any investigation.
- The department is also investigating job sales at Insizwakazi Primary in Pinetown. It wrote to school governing body members informing them of a probe into allegations that some people received bribes to fix posts and had attended a party to discuss it.
- A whistle-blower on the school governing body wrote to the department, saying that after they were elected in February, some of them went to a former teacher’s house for a braai and a post-fixing discussion.
- “One of the school’s former teachers who was present on the day paid ... some money for the principal position. On that day, the former teacher took money out of his pocket and gave it to [him],” reads the letter.
- “The teacher said he is excited that the school governing body has won the elections because it means he will be able to come back to the school.”
- The man denied taking bribes or fixing posts.
- “How can you sell positions that you don’t have? Positions belong to the department. People who saw me taking bribes must come forward to testify. They can also check my bank statements. I am free. I have nothing to hide,” he said.
- He was aware of the department’s investigation into him and other school governing body members.
Murder of a maths teacher
- Eshowe police spokesperson Captain Tienkie van Vuuren said there was a possibility that Mkhwanazi’s murder was linked to his interview for the post of principal at Enqobeni Primary.
- “He was sitting in his vehicle in the schoolyard when he was approached by two unknown suspects. They fired two shots at him, pulled him from the car and fired another two shots. They then drove away with his vehicle,” she said. “He was still alive and was taken to the Ndlangubo Clinic for treatment, where he died.”
- KwaZulu-Natal education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that Mkhwanazi was the frontrunner for the post. “We are working with police to ascertain the motive so that we become aware and know what steps to take to prevent such occurrences in future.”
By the numbers
- R17 000: What a teaching job at Dumisani Makhaye Secondary in Chatsworth was allegedly sold for
- R10 000: What a principal’s job at Entuthukweni Primary in Lamontville was allegedly sold for
- R5 000: What a head of department position at Entuthukweni Primary in Lamontville was allegedly sold for
- Do you know anyone who bought their teaching post?SMS your thoughts to 35697 using the keyword TEACH. Each SMS costs R1.50. Please include your name and province
City Press out to demonise us - SADTU
SADTU 11 July 2015
- Union says newspaper's claim that it issued an instruction to SACE to stop an investigation into cash-for-jobs scam is baseless
CITY PRESS ON WAR PATH TO DEMONISE SADTU
11 July 2015
- The City Press newspaper is on a warpath to demonise SADTU. Their latest salvo, which is due to be published tomorrow, is a baseless report that SADTU has issued an instruction to the South African Council for Educators (SACE) to stop an independent investigation into the cash for jobs scam (see here).
- The writer Sipho Masondo is on a project to propel his profession to become an award winning journalist at our expense. If his stories were true, why didn’t the other media houses run with and explore them further? We cannot allow the name of the Union to be used by novice journalists to gain professional glory.
- In May last year the National Working Committee of SADTU issued a statement whereby we stated that we had approached SACE, as the custodian of the teaching profession and the Education Labour Relations (ELRC) which is responsible for the condition of employment and for the promotion of labour peace, to conduct investigations on jobs for scam reports, jointly or independently.
- We asked these bodies to investigate these reports not to protect SADTU but out of the respect we have of them and the teaching profession. No one, including SADTU can issue instructions to SACE to stop its investigation.
- The timing of the release of this story also leaves a lot to be desired. Is this about the headlines before COSATU’s special congress? We are going to the Congress well prepared to unite the Federation no matter what City Press headlines say. We are more determined to defend our democracy and freedom against those who seek regime change and plunge this country into chaos.
Statement issued by SADTU, July 11 2015
‘I bought my teaching job’
- Nearly every payday, a KwaZulu-Natal leader of teachers’ union Sadtu, Thembekile Makhanya, allegedly sent pupils to collect R1 000 hidden in a copy of the newspaper Isolezwe.
- Pupils from her Grade 2 class were sent to collect the newspaper from Nkonzwenhle Mqadi, a Grade 5 teacher who told City Press this week that he paid Makhanya – also the school’s foundation phase head of department and a governing body member – a bribe for his job.
- On other paydays, Mqadi would drive Makhanya, Sadtu’s KwaZulu-Natal convener for sports and recreation, to a local shopping mall and draw the cash before waiting for her to do her shopping.
- Mqadi, a former Sadtu activist from KwaZulu-Natal’s south coast, told City Press this week how he had “bought” his job at Sophie Phewa Primary School, about 20km south of central Durban, for R12 000. The agreement, he says, was to pay Makhanya R1 000 a month for the position. But when he could no longer afford to pay after crashing his car, the department stopped paying his salary.
- Mqadi reported the matter to a series of provincial education department officials since his salary was first stopped in April 2011.
- He has also reported the matter to the Public Protector’s office in Durban, and asked for an investigation into both his bribery claims and what he believes is a subsequent cover-up by circuit, regional and provincial officials.
- City Press has seen the emails and copies of letters addressed to at least five senior officials between April 2011 and August this year. The recipients included provincial head of department Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, Umlazi district head Bheki Ntuli and several human resources officials.
- He also asked City Press to facilitate a meeting with the Volmink commission appointed to investigate the jobs-for-cash racket.
- Mqadi says he now “fears for his life” but chose to come clean about the bribe and other acts of corruption by Sadtu and department officials – including ghost teachers at Sophie Phewa Primary – because he says he has no other choice.
- He claims that since his relationship with Makhanya soured, he has been unable to find a permanent teaching post and was “chased” from school to school.
- “I have tried so many times to have officials resolve this issue, but have failed. I have followed every possible procedure, but nobody is prepared to listen. Right now, my salary has been stopped because I have been pressuring officials to deal with my case. I have received no letter telling me that – no communication – yet they are stopping my pay,” he said.
- Mqadi (48) started out as a temporary teacher in 1986. After completing his BA degree in 1996, he landed a permanent post – but two years later, resigned to study law and work as a journalist.
- In 2009, he took up teaching again at the Bahle Bonke Primary School in St Wendolins, Mariannhill. But he needed a job closer to home in Umlazi, and went looking for a transfer.
- Mqadi says he approached Makhanya, who he knew from union circles in 2010, after hearing that a job had opened up at her school. After talking to her on the phone, they met at Sadtu House in central Durban, where Makhanya “interviewed” him.
- “She told me I would pay her R1 000 a month for the job. I wasn’t told for how many months, but I didn’t ask. I was desperate, so I agreed,” he said.
- He delivered his CV and other paperwork to the home of Makhanya’s mother in Umlazi that Sunday in March 2010, and began working at Sophie Phewa the next day. On his arrival, he waited outside the gate for Makhanya and accompanied her inside. She took him straight to the staff room and introduced him to his new colleagues.
- “It was Thembikile and not the principal who introduced me,” he said.
- Mqadi said that on some paydays he would take Makhanya to the Galleria shopping centre in Amanzimtoti in his car and give her the money in cash. On others, he would get one of her pupils to pick up the bribe.
- “In most cases, I hid it inside Isolezwe and she would send a learner to ‘borrow’ the Isolezwe from me at my Grade 5 classroom,” said Mqadi.
- Muzi Mahlambi, spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, said Mqadi should lay a criminal charge and report the matter to the commission of inquiry headed by Professor John Volmink, which was appointed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
- The commission was appointed in response to City Press’ exposé of a national jobs-for-cash scam being run by union office bearers in cahoots with department officials and members of school governing bodies.
- Mahlambi said: “If what he is telling you is true, this is a crime. He must open a case with the police. He must also take the matter to the Volmink Commission. Bribery is a crime in South Africa.”
- Makhanya is now a head of department at the Windy Heights Primary School in Isipingo. She was suspended by Sadtu in July for allegedly being part of a caucus outside union structures, but remains on its provincial executive committee (PEC).
- She denied Mqadi’s claims, saying there was a possibility that he was lying to cover himself, as he was being disciplined by the department for failing to report for work, that he was a pawn in Sadtu’s internal battles, “or both”.
- “I’ve never received any money from that man. I know him because he was employed at Sophie Phewa, where we were working. I don’t know anything about those claims. I cannot make transfers and claim money for it,” said Makhanya.
- “What is happening here is that our divisions in Sadtu are emerging. This claim is a lie. What I know is that the department has a case against him.
- “How can I, as a head of department, organise a transfer and take money for it?”
- On Thursday, Sadtu’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, confirmed that Makhanya still sat on the union’s PEC. She said she did not know who Mqadi was.
- “This is the first I have heard of this. I have no information on this matter. I have not been able to get hold of her,” said Caluza, promising to follow up with Makhanya.
- On Friday, Caluza said she had no further comment to make.