Education DG placed on special leave

Sadtu has accused Bobby Soobrayan of violating the Public Finance Management Act.

Bobby Soobrayan, Director-General of Basic Education has been placed on special leave by the Department of Basic Education.Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Basic Education has placed Director-General (DG) Bobby Soobrayan on special leave until a disciplinary hearing into alleged misconduct is concluded.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has accused Soobrayan of violating the Public Finance Management Act.

This is after he allegedly signed a collective agreement without following proper internal processes resulting in huge financial implications to the state.

"Minister Angie Motshekga will allow the DG to take special leave to afford him the space to adequately prepare his defence once the disciplinary process commences," said Department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi.

Lesufi said Paddy Padayachee has been appointed as the acting DG until the disciplinary matter against Soobrayan is concluded.

"They've appointed Mr Padayachee to act until the matter is finalised we felt that for the benefit of Sadtu and the department it would be appropriate as the DG takes special leave."

Lesufi said Soobrayan handed over his response to Sadtu's allegations to Motshekga on Monday.

Retired Judge W van der Merwe has been appointed to preside over the disciplinary hearing.

The hearing is expected to begin within 10 days.

In April, hundreds of demonstrating teachers staged a stay away from schools across the country and marched to Parliament in Cape Town and the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The teachers demanded the resignation of Motshekga and Soobrayan for allegedly withdrawing a collective bargaining agreement which would have seen exam markers receive a significant increase.