Stamp out 'jobs for sale' racket

THE DA is shocked, and truly sickened, by the reports of South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) officials facilitating the appointment of teachers, principals and district officials allegedly in exchange for cash.

We know that the role of unions in appointments is far too influential, with nepotism and political cronyism being rife. We have condemned this in the past and have called for education departments to reclaim their management roles, for the sake of every pupil in the schools for which they are responsible.

We know also that thousands of teachers who are unqualified and under-qualified are appointed to teach in our schools. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in KwaZulu-Natal, where, last year, 6586 unqualified persons were employed to teach.

Countrywide, more than 10000 unqualified and under-qualified people are teaching in South African schools.

South Africa's National Development Plan describes the ideal with respect to basic education appointments: "Expertise is recognised as the only criterion for appointing and promoting teachers and principals...Unions' role should be in ensuring that proper processes are being followed, not who gets appointed." The statements reflect a South Africa that joins in condemning nepotism at the expense of capacity.

We never suspected that the role of unions was as shameful as is now being alleged.

In a country where very little is truly shocking any longer, the reported Sadtu scam comes as a sickeningly low blow to our young democracy. How dare they?

How dare these people, who do not deserve the title of teacher, barter money at the expense of our children's education?

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has announced an investigation. President Jacob Zuma is reported to have been "taken aback".

He must ensure that the promised investigation takes place and that, if this is proven to be true (and this certainly appears likely), every single one of the people involved in this appalling, corrupt scam is permanently removed from the education sector and is criminally charged. Zuma must take the lead, and make an unequivocal commitment to action and to consequences, notwithstanding the fact that the role players are staunch ANC supporters.

The DA will use the first opportunity the new parliament presents to submit questions and motions to demand full details of the investigation.

Every child deserves capable teachers in a well-managed school.

No child deserves a teacher who can't teach and a principal who paid for his job.

No professional teacher or principal deserves to be, in any way, associated with corrupt cadres.

The rot must out.

Annette Lovemore MP, DA spokesperson on basic education