Double, double standards as education department and DA accuse one another

The Gauteng Department of Education MEC Phanyaza Lesufi.

This comes after the party launched an application in terms of the Public Access to Information Act requesting the release of the forensic investigation reports into corruption and maladministration in 159 schools in the province.

DA Gauteng, MPL Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho said the application came as a result of Education MEC Panyazi Lesufi’s continued refusal to make the contents of the reports known. “Despite the fact that it would be in the interests of school governing bodies, parents and teachers to do so,” said Ramulifho.

He said while Lesufi had not directly refused the DA access to the reports, it would only be granted on the condition that no information was divulged to the public, as it may compromise internal disciplinary procedures.

“The DA however believes that the MEC is guilty of double standards and is in fact siding with wrong-doers, who are allowed to work while school governing bodies are refused access to investigation reports,” said Ramulifho.

Lesufi also accused the DA of double standards. “It is unfortunate that the Democratic Alliance are the ones complaining about a process aimed at strengthening accountability, transparency and financial prudence,” he said.

He emphasised the department’s commitment to clean governance at schools. “The department has mentoring and coaching programmes provided on financial management through the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance to school governing bodies,” he said.

“The department is currently finalising regulations to standardise financial reporting for schools. The department also conducts regular impact assessments of the training provided, by evaluating schools on particular financial indicators.”

Ramulifho countered by saying, “The fact is school governing bodies are entitled to view and act upon the contents of such reports, and the MEC should rather expend his energies upholding those rights as opposed to protecting those accused of maladministration, fraud and corruption.”

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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