- A Corruption Watch report highlighted that corruption is still prevalent in some areas of the education sector.
- The report, titled Sound the Alarm, was released Thursday.
- The SA Democratic Teachers Union says it is “outraged” by the information in the report.
The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says it is “outraged” by the findings of a new report by Corruption Watch which lifts the veil on corruption in the education sector in South Africa.
According to Corruption Watch, despite various policies and legislation aimed at providing unfettered access to decent education, incidents of corruption persist in parts of the education sector.
The organization released the Sound the Alarm report on Thursday.
According to her, most cases are from Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Some findings include allegations that those in positions of influence, such as principals and school board members, were the “primary culprits.”
Corruption Watch said its reports showed that managers tended to recruit people with whom they have close relationships for, primarily, administrative positions.
And in some cases, whistleblowers have reported acts of sextortion – a type of corruption in which women are told they must provide sexual favors for financial or professional gain, he said. declared.
These types of corruption extend further into the education sector, with female students being asked to sleep with educators for good grades, according to the report.
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Sadtu’s Mugwena Maluleke welcomed the report but said the union was “outraged by the findings”.
Maluleke told News24: “When you have a teacher who wants to sleep with his own child, you have to know that the moral fiber of society has collapsed.
“If we have a situation where women are asked to sleep with those in power so that they can find jobs, that is counter-revolutionary, the worst barbaric action we can have in the country.
“These people are doing this because they know that no action will be taken against them, no consequences because these criminals are protecting each other. Sadtu is very outraged by this type of corruption.”
Meanwhile, Basil Manuel, executive director of the National Organization of Professional Teachers of South Africa, said: “If half of this is true then we have serious problems. I want to see how [Corruption Watch] collected their information and why this information is not kept by the authorities so that people can be charged.
“I have to be confident that all of these cases are thoroughly researched rather than suspected wrongdoing. If, in fact, there are even 10% of cases that are factual, then that’s serious. Schools are expected to speak positively about [pupils and teachers] and give them hope where they can thrive, but if this tends to be a dangerous place, then what a tragedy.”
But for Elijah Mhlanga, spokesman for the Department of Basic Education, the information in the report is not new.
“We appreciate the work they do and we also recognize that the report they have compiled is based on reports people give to them, which means there is a need for a platform that they provide.”
Mhlanga added that community members should take responsibility for corruption in schools.
Commenting on the sextortion allegations, Mhlanga said: “It’s not a departmental matter. If someone offers you sexual favors in the community, you leave, you refuse and you go and report it to the police. is not a departmental matter.
“You go to the police and open a case; if you don’t open a case and only go and complain to Corruption Watch, that won’t help you. If you’re a teacher and you ask to sleep with a learner, that learner must report them.”
The report highlighted the voices of thousands of whistleblowers who reported education-related corruption between 2012 and 2021.
It also focused on the impact of alleged corruption mainly on primary and secondary schools, Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) institutions like all of us TVET colleges.
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According to her, the three main forms of corruption are embezzlement of resources, maladministration and abuse of authority.
“Incidents of bribery and extortion are also common, including allegations of sextortion, and cases related to irregularities in employment,” the report said.
Meanwhile, in SETA, there were allegations that some people in positions of power were soliciting bribes and flouting recruitment processes.
“The perpetrators of these acts of corruption would be the people who administer and deploy training programs or the entities that are supposed to implement apprenticeships.
“Whistleblowers have drawn our attention to how administrators would deprive students of their allowances.
“Sometimes students received nothing, leaving them stranded and unable to continue their courses. In some cases, applicants are asked to pay bribes if they want to be admitted into programs.”
And in TVET colleges, the most important forms of “corruption” are irregularities in public procurement, irregularities in employment and abuse of authority.
“As with corruption in schools and SETAs, what is also apparent here are issues related to [the] the theft of resources and funds, as well as bribery and extortion”.