POLOKWANE - Limpopo Education MEC Dickson Masemola told Eyewitness News on Wednesday he will not resign over the textbook crisis.
In reaction to the damning report by Mary Metcalf, released earlier this week, Masemola said it was unfair and misguided to expect him to shoulder all the blame for an issue he had very little control over.
The report claims that not all schools had received their books by the 27 June deadline, despite government saying 98 percent of learning material had been delivered.
Masemola said he was confused by calls for his resignation because he was stripped of any real power when the province was placed under administration in December.
“This is totally unfair because if indeed my department was not placed under administration, I will take the responsibility.”
He described the calls for his head as a misrepresentation of facts.
“It’s very, very unfair because people can’t take the whole responsibility of the education challenge and place it on Masemola.”
The MEC then said the allegations of corruption prevented him from doing his job.
“I remain highly committed to my work and I’m very passionate about my responsibility. I love it so much."
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Section 27 are calling for Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale to resign over the bungle.
Cosatu’s General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday, Limpopo school children went without textbooks because the tripartite alliance spent its time brawling over positions and internal elections.
He said too many organisations were simply absent from representing people but instead attacked each other’s characters.
Vavi wondered what would happen if leaders' children went to government schools in Limpopo?
At the same time, Limpopo officials painted a worrying picture of corruption, incompetence and greed surrounding the textbook crisis.
Despite assurances from the Education Department that it is resolving the bungle, schools are still battling to get books into classrooms.
South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (Sadtu) Provincial Secretary Matome Raphasha said aside from the textbook crisis, corruption is rife and some teacher’s have not been paid since January.
“Problems in Limpopo are beyond the issue of textbooks. There are huge problems.”
(Edited by Clare Matthes)