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Mpumalanga education head suspended for allegedly altering figures in annual report

29 March 2019
The head of the Mpumalanga education department, Mahlasedi Mhlabane, has been suspended for allegedly altering figures in the department's annual report.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) established that only 36% of learners received study material and not 63%, as stated in the report. The SAHRC acted on a complaint by Jane Sithole, the leader of the DA in the province.
Sithole said the Auditor-General picked up the discrepancy.

"As part of the SAHRC investigation, they visited a number of schools all over the province. It was established that around 680 000 scholars are still without learner support material," Sithole said.
"The department urgently needs to tell us why they have left Mpumalanga learners to fend for themselves despite the education department getting one of the biggest shares of the provincial budget."
She said it was learners who were suffering and "suspending someone does not put books on the table".

The SAHRC said in its findings that the Mpumalanga Department of Education had violated section 29 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to basic education, by not providing learners with enough textbooks.
The SAHRC gave the department until March 12 to inform them of the shortage of learner material.
It also had to give feedback on what the department was doing to rectify the situation.
Mhlabane, however, ignored this instruction.

Last week, while on a visit to Russia, Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni suspended Mhlabane.
Zibonele Mncwango, spokesperson for the premier, confirmed this.
At the time, he did not want to give further details.
The investigation by the integrity unit in the office of the premier is currently under way.
Mncwango said disciplinary action would not be considered until the findings of the integrity unit have been released.

Source: News24

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