DA calls for immediate probe into ‘moonlighting’ KZN teacher

by Dr Rishigen Viranna, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Education

DA calls for immediate probe into ‘moonlighting’ KZN teacher

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has called for an immediate probe following the discovery that a teacher in the province is holding onto her post while ‘moonlighting’ at various destinations around the world, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Thailand in order to earn foreign currency.

The finding comes after a recent DA oversight inspection by KZN MPLs, Rafeek Shah and George Mari, to Summerfield Primary in Chatsworth.

The DA’s inspection was conducted after receiving information from a reliable source that the teacher, a Mrs H B Mahomed was on leave without pay from April to December 2018 after having exhausted her leave days for the year.

During the oversight, the principal advised that both he and the school’s Governing Body had opposed the granting of leave to the teacher and had even written to the Department to request intervention. From our discussions, it appears that the teacher then sought authorisation directly from a relevant Departmental official who then authorised her ongoing leave.

The DA is deeply concerned by this situation. Not only does it point to shocking corruption within the Department itself, it also shows that while the failing ANC talks about prioritising education it clearly does not care about the learners in our province.

According to the principal, the teacher’s prolonged absence has created an extremely difficult learning environment for pupils, with different replacement teachers in and out of the classroom.

The situation is made worse by the fact that there are currently hundreds of unemployed teachers sitting on the Department’s database. This while an individual holds onto her post while jetting off to earning foreign currency.

The DA expects MEC Dlungwane to launch an immediate independent probe into this case. We expect him to ensure that both the teacher and the Departmental official involved are fully investigated and that they face the consequences of any wrongdoing. We also expect the MEC to extend this probe to include other schools in the province so that any similar shenanigans are rooted out.

Other urgent issues facing the school and which they have asked for the DA’s help in resolving include;

  • The possible threat of disconnection of lights and water due to an outstanding bill of R300 000. The school has asked the Department for help and for the Bill to be cancelled so that they can begin afresh
  • Conversion of the schools status from Section 21 to Section 20 based on its inability to afford monthly utility bills and maintain its monthly accounts. This as a result of poor school fees return and limited funds received from the Department and;
  •  Conversion of the school from Quintile 5 to Quintile 3 based on the surrounding shack settlements and the RDP housing scheme that it serves.

The DA expects MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane to heed these requests in the interests of both the school management and learners of Summerfield Primary, who deserve a properly functioning learning environment.

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