'Destroying textbooks is sabotage'

Education Dept. will lay charges against a service provider that failed to deliver books in Limpopo.

Textbooks in a warehouse in Limpopo. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department revealed on Monday that hundreds of school textbooks were discovered dumped in a river in Limpopo.

The department said it will lay criminal charges against the service provider meant to deliver the books.

The finding comes after a warehouse was found destroying learning material.

The department's Penyaza Lesufi said they were alerted by police.

"For this particular person to sit under a tree and fill in the forms that books where delivered, when they were thrown in the river, is an act of sabotage."

On Monday Section 27 said that Mary Metcalfe was the right person to head a committee that will examine whether all textbooks were indeed delivered to Limpopo.

The organisation that took government to court over the textbooks crisis in the province planned to meet with Metcalfe on Monday to discuss the independent audit she is due to conduct.

The Basic Education Department said all books have now been delivered, but there were conflicting reports from schools in the province.

"I think it's very positive that she's been appointed," said Section 27's Marc Heywood.

"She's independent, she's credible and she understands the education system. I think she understands the urgency of this as well."

"We really believe that it's the credibility tests we go through because without that, it will be very difficult for an ordinary South African to trust what we do," said Lesufi.

"As the department of the Basic Education we are really deeply humbled at her appointment."

Metcalfe is now due to appoint her team and aims to complete the audit within two weeks.