Three pre-school principals testifying in the “ghost teachers” fraud trial of Portia “Pankie” Sizani denied signing on teachers, just before the courtroom was plunged into darkness due to load-shedding yesterday.
Sizani, the wife of ANC parliamentary chief whip Stone Sizani, is accused in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court of defrauding the Eastern Cape Education Department out of more than R1.2-million by processing several fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts.
Sizani, 46, of Summerstrand, was the Early Childhood Development (ECD) district coordinator at the time of the alleged offences.
The state alleges that she signed assumption of duty forms on behalf of several principals of pre-schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The ECD provides for the appointment of Grade R teachers at Eastern Cape schools.
Wearing an elegant green dress embossed with black flowers, Sizani was supported by a group of women in court. She listened intently from the dock while evidence was presented. Her husband was not present.
– Lee-Anne Butler
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