It was reported on Saturday how the Eastern Cape acting HOD of Education and former head of Treasury were secretly recorded discussing the awarding of a tender worth millions to persons close to a top politician in the province.
Education MEC Mandla Makupula must come clean about a Saturday Dispatch exposé about alleged interference by top politicians in the tendering process in his department.
The allegations are very serious and point not only to external meddling, but also to the apparent compliance by senior officials to external instructions from overreaching politicians to internal tender processes, despite the provisions of laws such as the Public Finance Manage Act (PFMA).
Senior state officials are supposed to uphold the rule of law to protect society from unfair practices and corruption. In a fair society, everyone has equal access to opportunities, not only a connected few.
It is a matter of grave concern to the DA that the allegations are being unearthed in a department that has historically been fraught with corruption. Corruption in the department of education is not only a blight on the department, it results in the education outcomes of our future generations being compromised. Education is the foundation of opportunity and corruption cannot be allowed to directory compromise our youth’s future.
I have submitted legislature questions to the MEC, as to whether he has taken any steps to curb tender irregularities in his department and what such steps entail. If he has not I challenge MEC Makupula to act swiftly and decisively if he is serious about his department’s reputation and responsibility to educate the future generations. RAP Trollip questions for written reply-21 July
Corruption does not take place in a vacuum and in this regard it would appear that “compliance cadres” are being manipulated by the very people that ensure their appointment to their position of authority. This particular case is a disturbing illustration of what the actual consequences of cadre deployment are and where beneficiaries of this policy are forced to “repay” those that deploy them with tender-favours.
The department of education should understand the importance of the watch words of freedom, fairness and opportunity and if nothing is done about these allegations their reputation in upholding these values will be left in tatters.