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Corruption rife at schools: Corruption Watch

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A number of South African schools have come under fire after a report by Corruption Watch revealed that more than one thousand cases of corruption in schools were reported between 2012-15.

The cases range from financial mismanagement, theft of funds, tender corruption and employment corruption. According to the organisation’s Lucky Ronald Menoe, in most instances where corruption had been detected, school principals were involved and colluding with staff members.

Since first launching the campaign in August 2013, the organisation discovered 1188 schools were home to corrupt activities. While the Watch does hold authority to make arrests, Menoe said they have only gone as far as reporting the corrupt individuals to local authorities.

“Right at the beginning of our campaign we established relationships with Provincial Education Departments, informing them about our investigations. After we file our reports, we educate and engage with the departments and encourage them to take punitive steps. However, we have found that some departments do nothing about our reports and in one situation in Gauteng, we have even went as far as opening a case at the police station,” Menoe explained.

Furthermore, the campaign had been sparked by frustrated educators who say they are unable to branch out and find innovative ways to teach learners due to a lack of resources.

“Most of our whistle-blowers are teachers who are frustrated. They say they have seen certain amount of money transferred to the school account but when they approach the principal for a photocopy machine, they are told there is no money. There are no dusters, paper, chalk or learning material available at schools,” Menoe continued.

The organisation will be embarking on more investigations. Menoe urged local educators to come forward with any information on corrupt activities taking place at their respective schools. The Corruption Watch call centre can be contacted at 0800 023 456. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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