SIU Report: DA calls for suspension of top Gauteng Education Department officials

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi to immediately suspend Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) Head of Department (HOD), Edward Mosuwe, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Johan van Coller and Supply Chain Management Chief Director, Samora Mhlophe following the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) report findings that 173 service providers appointed to decontaminate Gauteng schools were not accredited and not on the Central Supplier Database.

The Gauteng Department of Education irregularly spent more than R431 million on decontamination of schools within three months. 

The DA welcomes the SIU’s report findings and progress made so far and believes the recovered money should immediately be allocated to eradicating asbestos schools and classrooms, as well as the construction of more classrooms to alleviate overcrowding in schools. This will ensure more effective teaching and learning for students. 

The SIU has frozen the assets of 14 entities linked to over R431 million school decontamination tenders. The SIU was granted an order by the Special Tribunal to freeze assets and bank accounts worth R40.7 million which belong to seven companies, five individuals and two family trusts, to which the department awarded contracts.

This is a step in the right direction to ensure that they recover all our monies meant to ensure that our children receive quality education and are taught in a conducive environment.

The SIU report described the selection and appointment of suppliers to sanitise schools as haphazard and unfair as the Supply Chain Management Division was not involved in the process. The names of the service providers that were appointed were received via WhatsApp from the department’s officials. The fee paid to the service providers bears no relation to the work done.

All this points to the HOD, CFO and the Supply Chain Management Chief Director’s failure to adequately review and monitor compliance in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act and treasury regulations.

These three top officials of the department failed in their responsibilities to ensure that this tender is above board and that policies of supply chain management, procurement processes and financial management are adhered to.

They must explain what happened, where they were when all this happened and what role they played during this process. These three individuals are the main signatories and the decision makers within the department and should be taken to task and held accountable. 

So far, the SIU findings has revealed their incompetency and inability to lead this department as they have failed to follow proper supply chain and tender processes which has resulted in an irregular expenditure of more than R431 million.

We will not allow the behaviour of three individuals to bring the department that have a crucial role to play on the future of our children, to its knees.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress of the SIU investigation to ensure that those who are implicated are brought to book and they pay back every cent owed to the education of our children.

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