'Section 27 attacking us to raise funds’

The Basic Education Department has accused Section 27 of abusing the country’s legal system.

Destroyed textbooks in Limpopo.

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department has accused rights group Section 27 of turning the Limpopo textbook crisis into a political game so it can raise funds.

The organisation held a briefing on Thursday, ahead of its second court battle against government.

It took government to the North Gauteng High Court in April, to force it to deliver books to all Limpopo schools.

But the State missed a 15 June deadline to deliver books, as well as a later date both parties agreed on.

Now Section 27 claims some Limpopo schools are still without textbooks, while principals have been intimidated into being silent about the crisis.

But department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday said a single meeting could resolve their differences.

"It is completely unfair. It is an abuse of the court system of the country.

"It is a fundraising tool where people believe that for them to get resources, they need to attack government."

Lesufi accused the group of ruining government's relationship with them.

Unless a settlement is reached, the matter will be heard in court on 27 September.

Meanwhile, Basic Education Director-General Bobby Soobrayan on Friday said the department was dealing with new reports of outstanding textbooks at some Limpopo schools.

He said some schools in the province were not initially listed on its data list. But he promised that books would be delivered to them soon.

"Other than that, all schools have been delivered," he said.

Soobrayan called on schools to inform the department of any textbook shortages that may still exist.

The initial delay in the delivery of books was the result of an invalid tender awarded to EduSolutions.

For more on the Limpopo textbook saga click here.