Top NW education official in son tender row

2020-Oct-18   13:49

Top NW education official in son tender row
The administrator of the North West Department of Education Joe Mohlaha has denied accusations that his son benefitted from one of the mobile classroom tenders awarded by the provincial government.
Source: Thabang Morutloa/Newsnote

- Thabang Morutloa

The administrator of the North West Department of Education Joe Mohlaha has denied accusations that his son benefitted from one of the mobile classroom tenders awarded by the provincial government.

Last month Mohlala was forcefully removed from the North West Provincial Legislature's Portfolio Committee on Education, Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation for allegedly failing to respond to allegations that his son is linked to a company that was awarded a tender by the department.The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West has since written to Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, calling for Mohlala’s immediate dismissal over his failure to bring significant improvement to the provincial Department of Education since it was placed under administration in terms of Section 100(1)(b) in 2018.

DA Member of the Povincial Legislature, Gavin Edwards, said Mohlala lacks integrity.“This utter contempt is evident in the administrator’s lack of integrity and points to his determination to sidestep all forms of accountability. The  administrator has a Constitutional obligation in terms of Section 115 to account for his actions and was given a fair opportunity on two separate occasions to clarify his involvement in tender irregularities and to provide insight into the suspension of the department’s CFO, but instead has chosen to play a game of cat and mouse," said Edwards.He added: "Since the department was placed under administration, the administrator, who resides in Gauteng, could not succeed in reaching annual targets and failed to make any meaningful contribution to the department’s financial health, the infrastructure of schools, or the quality of education.

 The situation again underscores the inefficiency of interventions across the province. The residents of North West deserve better than the substandard education system forced on them by the incompetence of accounting officers."Mohlala, however, denied that his son benefited from a tender awarded by the department.“I’m actually still waiting to hear which son they are talking about because I don’t have any son that has shares in that particular company. I wanted the portfolio committee to give me more information or to at least report the matter to the law enforcement agencies so that they can investigate the matter further. But instead, they said I’m arrogant, and that I don’t respect and all that,” he said.

The DA is yet to receive a response from Minister Motshekga after writing a letter to her calling for Mohlala’s dismissal.Meanwhile, the North West Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Education, Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation also called for Mohlala to be removed from his position in the provincial department, after he failed to appear before the committee on Thursday to account for schools infrastructure grant spending for the past three financial years.

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