Exam leak at Government Printing Works not a surprise

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is not surprised by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, confirming that the Physical Sciences Paper 2 leak originated from Government Printing Works (GPW). The GPW provides important services to the South African government, including the printing of smart ID cards, passports and visas. And in this case, the printing of certain National Senior Certificate examination papers.

This is therefore a critical entity but unfortunately, the GPW has seen a decline under the leadership of Alinah Fosi, the acting CEO. Questions surrounding her leadership at GPW has now inevitably resulted in further deterioration of critical services.

Ms Fosi has been at the center of a series of allegations ranging from:

  • Allegedly assaulting a junior employee and intimidating GPW employees;
  • Using taxpayer money to pay for business class tickets to travel with friends to France for a “workshop”; and
  • Overseeing the appointment of suppliers for this workshop without following due procurement processes.

GPW, this year, also received a Qualified Audit for the first time in recent memory. The adverse findings were largely the result of the re-occurrence of irregular expenditure at the entity.

A report by the Public Service Commission into supply chain irregularities found Ms Fosi guilty of supply chain irregularity and recommended that the Executive Authority consider “corrective action” against Ms Fosi. However, instead of “corrective action” the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, seems determined to appoint Ms Fosi at GPW permanently. There have been numerous questions swirling around Ms Fosi’s fitness for office as it pertains to her qualifications, however, an advert for the position of GPW CEO was seemingly revised to suit Ms Fosi favourably.

So while the DA is dismayed that this leak emanated from GPW, we are not in the least surprised given the entity’s current trajectory and the apparent push to install someone wholly unsuitable in the CEO position.

The exam paper leak at GPW is yet another indication of the regression of the entity under the leadership of Ms Fosi and it would be remiss of Minister Motsoaledi to ignore this indictment.

There is an obligation on the Minister to ensure that no learner suffers because of corrupt and incompetent service providers.