Flawed system hid fraud

Witness at Sizani trial tells court staff signed documents for district director

Details emerged at the R1.2-million fraud trial of Portia “Pankie” Sizani yesterday on how flawed the Port Elizabeth district office of education’s system is involving the appointment and authorisation of payment for early childhood development (ECD) practitioners.

Patrick Adams, a human resources employee in the district office, told the court that staff regularly signed documents on behalf of the district director and the signatures of appointed practitioners were hardly checked.

The state alleges that Sizani, 46, wife of ANC parliamentary chief whip Stone Sizani used her knowledge of the system as ECD district coordinator at the time to defraud the Eastern Cape Education Department by processing fraudulent applications for Grade R teaching posts during 2009 and 2010.

Adams said he dealt with the forms and documents received from schools, pre-schools and creches that would request Grade R teachers from the department.

He would receive the documents from his supervisor and then load them on to the system.

These forms would include a contract between the Grade R practitioner and the department, the assumption of duty form filled in by the principal of the school, and the identity document and bank details of the practitioner. In some cases he said the relevant qualifications of the practitioner would be included.

-Lee-Anne Butler

For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our .