The New Age reported on Monday, 6 August 2012, that the Presidential Task Team investigating the Limpopo textbook crisis intend to recommend that basic education Director General Bobby Soobrayan be dismissed.
Equal Education (EE) would support this recommendation. As DG, Soobrayan is required to exercise day to day oversight for delivery. In this he has manifestly failed.
The New Age article stated that DG Soobrayan allegedly refused to follow an instruction from the National Treasury to purchase textbooks in December 2011. Instead he employed EduSolutions to manage the ordering and distribution of textbooks without ensuring that the additional cost could be accommodated in the budget. His incompetence, according to the article, resulted in too few books being ordered for the 2012 school year. As a result, thousands of learners have had their right to basic education jeopardised.
DG Soobrayan was implicated in potential conflicts of interest and allegations of corruption last year after Lebone Litho Printers was awarded a tender worth R243-million to print, package and distribute workbooks to 19,000 public schools. The Mail and Guardian revealed that DG Soobrayan’s former fiancé’s mother, Salama Hendricks, co-founded the Lebone Group Holdings.
Last month, at its first National Congress, EE called for a full investigation into the textbook crisis. EE therefore welcomes the media reports that the Hawks and the State Security Agency have initiated an investigation into EduSolutions. Government tendering processes must be transparent and allow for community members to hold government and business accountable, so that public funds meant for service delivery are not misused.
For more information contact:
Yoliswa Dwane on 072 342 7747 (Chairperson)
Doron Isaacs on 082 850 2111 (Deputy General Secretary)